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MACMILLAN & CO., Limited 




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2 3. ■■•••/: t". z-^. 

Copyright, 1908, 
By harper & BROTHERS. 


By the international MAGAZINE CO. 

Copyright, 1907, 1908, and 1909, 

Copyright, 1911, 

Set up and electrotyped. Published June, 191 1 

J. 8. Cu.shlnff Co. — Berwick A Smith Oo. 
Norwood, Mass., U.S.A. 

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I. Foreword .... 

II. The Inconceivable and Monstrous 

III. Adventure 

IV. Finding One's Way About 
V. The First Landfall 

VI. A Royal Sport 

VII. The Lepers of Molokai . 

VIII. The House of the Sun 

IX. A Pacific Traverse . 

X. Typee .... 

XI. The Nature Man . 

XII. The High Seat of Abundance 

XIII. Stone-fishing of Bora Bora 

XIV. The Amateur Navigator . 
XV. Cruising in the Solomons 

XVI. Beche de Mer English 

XVII. The Amateur M.D. 
Backword ..... 










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Frontispiece in colors 


1 . The Building of the Snark 9 

2. The 5/Tijri Set Up 11 

3* Interior View of Frame . , , . . .12 

4. Hull of the Snark . . . . . • 1 5 

5 . Charmian and the Skipper . . . . . .21 

6. Taking on Stores at Oakland City Wharf . . -25 

7. Our Head-sails • 3 ' 

8. The Two Boats, on Deck, left Little Room . . -23 

9. The Best Adventurer of them All . . . • 37 

10. On a Level Sea ....... 40 

1 1 . The Doldrums . 45 

12. Doing her Trick 48 

13. The Dark Secrets of Navigation . . . . .52 

14. Land Ho !........ 54 

15. Our First Guny . 57 

16. A Big Wave that is liable to steal the Horizon Away . 61 

17. In the Heel of the Northeast Trader .... 64 

18. The 5»tfri at her First Anchorage .... 66 

19. The Wharf that wouldn't stand Still .... 67 

20. Tropic Loot ....•••• 70 

21. Dream Harbor ....... 73 

22. Coming in on a Wave ...... 76 

23. Leviathan and the Snark . . . . . '77 

24. Good Morning ...•••. 79 

25. Standing up and lying down . • • • .81 

26. Beating the Break of the Wave . . • . .84 


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27. The Wave that Everybody Caught . • . 

28. Molokai. "Horribles" on Morning of July Fourth. 

They are All Lepers ...... 93 

29. Molokai, Pa-u Riders on Morning of Fourth of July . 96 

30. Molokai, a Pa-u Rider . . . . . .99 

31. Molokai Leper Fishermen in their Boats at Boat Landing . loz 

32. Molokai. Village of Kalaupapa. The Pj//, or Precipice, 

in the Background varies in Height between Two 
Thousand and Four Thousand Feet . , .104 

33. Molokai. Looking down Damien Road . . .106 

34. Molokai. Father Damien's Church . . . .108 

35. Molokai. Father Damien's Grave . . . .110 

36. One Pack-horse carried Twenty Gallons of Water in Five- 

gallon Bags . . . . . . .114 

37. We had a Lunch of Jerked Beef and Hard Poi in a Stone 

Corral 118 

38. On the Crater's Rim 121 

39. The Cinder Cones, the Smallest over Four Hundred Feet 

in Height, the Largest over Nine Hundred, on the Floor 

of the Crater, nearly Haifa Mile Beneath . . .123 

40. A Lope across a Level Stretch to the Mouth of a Con- • 

venient Blow-hole . . . . . .125 

41. Our Way led past a Bottomless Pit . . . ,127 

42. That Entering Wedge of Cloud is a Mile and a Half Wide 

in the Gap itself, while beyond the Gap it is a Veritable 
Ocean . . . . . . . .129 

43. And through the Gap Ukiukiu vainly strove to drive his 

Fleecy Herds of Trade-wind Clouds . . . 131 

44. A Man-eater . . . . . . . • ^35 

45. Through the Shark's Jaws . . . . . .138 

46. A Dolphin . . . . . • . .142 

47. An Unwilling Pose . • • . . . .146 

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A Four-foot Seven-inch Dolphin . 
Grass-houses ...... 

The Goddess of the Pool . . . . 

The Tropics — after the Advent of Morality 
A Cocoanut Grove . . . . . 

The Camera in the Marquesas • 

Under the Banana Tree . . . . 

Behind the Bulwark of the Reef . 
One of the Last of a Mighty Race 
Under the Cocoanuts . . . . 

The Nature Man comes on Board the Snark 

The Abbreviated Fish-net Shirt . 

Tlie Nature Man's Plantation 

In the Sweat of his Brow . . . , 

Breakfast from the Breadfruit Tree 

*' The sail was impossible " 


A South Sea Island Home 

Visitors on Board the Snark at Raiatea . 

<' In a Double-canoe paddled by a Dozen Strapping Ama 

zons" ...... 

The Launch attracted much Attention . 

** The Polynesian barge in which we were to ride * 

The Stone-thrower ..... 

" Flower-crowned maidens, hand in hand and two by 


The Leader of the Drive signaling his Commands 

The Circle began to Contract 

"The palisade of legs" .... 

One of the Rshermen .... 

The Gendarme of Bora Bora, paddled by his Prisoners 

The Kind of Fish we did not Catch . 









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78. The Famous "Broom Road," Tahiti 

79. Paumotan Natives ...... 

80. Snark at Suva- Fiji Islands .... 

81. South Sea Island Beauties riding in the Snark* s Launch 

82. A South Sea Islander ..... 

83. Taupous, or Village Maidens, Island of Savaii, Samoan 

Group ....,,. 

84. Between Black Diamonds. (Girls of Savaii, Samoa) 

85. Maids of the Village, Savaii, Samoa . 

86. A Samoan Policeman . . . . . 

87. Man-eaters ....... 

88. Typical Coast Scene — Solomons 

89. Coast at Maravovo, Guadalcaner . . . 

90. Four Old Rascals ...... 

9 1 . The Two Handsomest Men in the Solomons 

92. Island of Uru — Hand-manufactured — Malaita . 

93. The Island of Langa, built up from the Sea by the Salt- 

water Men 

94. A Salt-water Fastness 

95. The Island of Auki, built up from the Sea by Salt-water 

Men ....... 

96. The Market — composed wholly of Women 

97. An Island in Process of Manufacture . . 

98. Solomon Islands Canoe ..... 

99. Men of Kewm — Solomons .... 

100. Bush-women going to Market, Malu, Malaita 

101. Salt-water Women on their Way to Market, Malu 


102. A Malaita Man 

103. A Malaita " Mary " 

104. Vella Lavella Man . 

105. From Fin Bori — Malaita 









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1 06. 

1 10. 
1 12. 





A Beau of Malaita ....... 300 

He knew the Sandal- wood Traders and the Beche de 

Mer Fishermen . 
He might have been Gladstone 

Old Woman of Vella Lavella 

"Marys" . 

Pullmg my Rrst Tooth . 

Careening the Snark 

A War Canoe 

Visitors coming alongside, Meringe Lagoon, Ysabel 

Solomon Islands .... 
ViUage of the Ete-Ete, Ugi, Solomons 
Charmian does some Photographing . 
The Snark* s Complement in the Solomons after we lost 

the Cook and gained a German Mate 
Laundry Bills are not among his Vexations. His Garb, 

however, is a Concession to Civilization. — Lord Howe 


The Trader's House at Lua Nua, Lord Howe Atoll 








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** You have heard the beat of the offshore wind. 
And the thresh of the deep-sea rain ; 
You have heard the song — how long ! how long ! 
Pull out on the trail again ! ' ' 


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The Cruise of the Snark 



It began in the swimming pool at Glen Ellen. 
Between swims it was our wont to come out and lie in 
the sand and let our skins breathe the warm air and 
soak in the sunshine. Roscoe was a yachtsman. I 
had followed the sea a bit. It was inevitable that we 
should talk about boats. We talked about small boats, 
and the seaworthiness of small boats. We instanced 
Captain Slocum and his three years' voyage around 
the world in the Spray. 

We asserted that we were not afraid to go around 
the world in a small boat, say forty feet long. We 
asserted furthermore that we would like to do it. We 
asserted finally that there was nothing in this world 
we'd like better than a chance to do it. 

" Let us do it,*' we said ... in fun. 

Then I asked Charmian privily if she'd really 
care to do it, and she said that it was too good to be 

The next time we breathed our skins in the sand by 
the swimming pool I said to Roscoe, " Let us do it." 

I was in earnest, and so was he, for he said : 

" When shall we start ? " 

I had a house to build on the ranch, also an orchard, 
a vineyard, and several hedges to plant, and a number 
of other things to do. We thought we would start in 

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four or five years. Then the lure of the adventure 
began to grip us. Why not start at once? We'd 
never be ypunger, any of us. Let the orchard, vine- 
yard, and hedges be growing up while we were away. 
When we came back, they would be ready for us, and 
we could live in the barn while we built the house. 

So the trip was decided upon, and the building of 
the Snark began. We named her the Snark because 
we could not think of any other name — this informa- 
tion is given for the benefit of those who otherwise 
might think there is something occult in the name. 

Our friends cannot understand why we make this 
voyage. They shudder, and moan, and raise their 
hands. No amount of explanation can make them 
comprehend that we are moving along the line of least 
resistance ; that it is easier for us to go down to the 
sea in a small ship than to remain on dry land, just as 
it is easier for them to remain on dry land than to go 
down to the sea in the small ship. , This state of mind 
comes of an undue prominence of the ego. They 
cannot get away from themselves. They cannot come 
out of themselves long enough to see that their line 
of least resistance is not necessarily everybody else's 
line of least resistance. They make of their own 
bundle of desires, likes, and dislikes a yardstick 
wherewith to measure the desires, likes, and dislikes 
of all creatures. This is unfair. I tell them so. 
But they cannot get away from their own miserable 
egos long enough to hear me. They think I am 
crazy. In return, I am sympathetic. It is a state of 
mind familiar to me. We are all prone to think there 
is something wrong with the mental processes of the 
man who disagrees with us. 

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The ultimate word is I like. It lies beneath phi- 
losophy, and is twined about the heart of life. When 
philosophy has maundered ponderously for a month, 
telling the individual what he must do, the individual 
says, in an instant, " I like," and does something else, 
and philosophy goes glimmering. It is I like that 
makes the drunkard drink and the martyr wear a hair 
shirt; that makes one man a reveller and another man 
an anchorite; that makes one man pursue fame, 
another gold, another love, and another God. Phi- 
losophy IS very often a man's way of explaining his 

own I LIKE. 

But to return to the Snarky and why I, for one, want 
to journey in her around the world. The things I like 
constitute my set of values.U^The thing I like most 
of all is personal achievement — not achievement for 
the world's applause, but achievement for my own 
delight.]^ It is the old "I did it! I did it! With my 
own hands I did it ! " ,. But personal achievement, with 
me, must be concrete. .^ I'd rather win a water-fight in 
the swimming pool, or remain astride a horse that is 
trying to get out from under me, than write the great 
American novel. Each 'man to his liking. Some 
other fellow wouTH prefer writing the great American 
novel to winning the water-fight or mastering the 

Possibly the proudest achievement of my life, my 
moment of highest living, occurred when I was seven- 
teen. I was in a three-masted schooner off the coast 
of Japan. We were in a typhoon. All hands had 
been on deck most of the night. I was called from 
my bunk at seven in the morning to take the wheel. 
Not a stitch of canvas was set. We were running be- 

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fore It under bare poles, yet the schooner fairly tore 
along. The seas were all of an eighth of a mile apart, 
and the wind snatched the whitecaps from their sum- 
mits, filling the air so thick with driving spray that it 
was impossible to see more than two waves at a time. 
The schooner was almost unmanageable, rolling her 
rail under to starboard and to port, veering and yawing 
anywhere between southeast and southwest, and threat- 
ening, when the huge seas lifted under her quarter, to 
broach to. Had she broached to, she would ultimately 
have been reported lost with all hands and no tidings. 

I took the wheel. The sailing-master watched me 
for a space. He was afraid of my youth, feared that I 
lacked the strength and the nerve. But when he saw 
me successfully wrestle the schooner through several 
bouts, he went below to breakfast. Fore and aft, all 
hands were below at breakfast. Had she broached to, 
not one of them would ever have reached the deck. 
For forty minutes I stood there alone at the wheel, in 
my grasp the wildly careering schooner and the lives of 
twenty-two men. Once we were pooped. I saw it 
coming, and, half-drowned, with tons of water crushing 
me, I checked the schooner's rush to broach to. At 
the end of the hour, sweating and played out, I was 
relieved. But I had done it ! With my own hands I 
had done my trick at the wheel and guided a hundred 
tons of ^ood and iron through a few million tons of 
wind and waves. 

My delight was in that I had done it — not in the fact 
that twenty-two men knew I had done it. Within the 
year over half of them were dead and gone, yet my 
pride in the thing performed was not diminished by 
half. I am willing to confess, however, that I do like 

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a small audience. But it must be a very small audi- 
ence, composed of those who love me and whom I 
love. When I then accomplish personal achievement, 
I have a feeling that I am justifymg their love for me. 
But this is quite apart from the dehght of the achieve- 
ment itself. This delight is pecuharly my own and 
does not depend upon witnesses. When I have done 
some such thing, I am exalted. I glow all over. I 
am aware of a pride in myself that is mine, and mine 
alone. It is organic. Every fibre of me is thrilling 
with it. It is very natural. It is a mere matter of sat- 
isfaction at adjustment to environment. It is success. 
_Life that lives is life successful, and success is the 
breath of its nostrils/|^ The achievement of a difficult 
feat is successful adjustment to a sternly exacting en- 
vironment. The more difficult the feat, the greater 
the satisfaction at its accomplishment. Thus it is with 
the man who leaps forward from the springboard, out 
over the swimming pool, and with a backward half- 
revolution of the body, enters the water head first. 
Once he left the springboard his environment became 
immediately savage, and savage the penalty it would 
have exacted had he failed and struck the water flat. 
Of course, the man did not have to run the risk of the 
penalty. He could have remained on the bank in a 
sweet and placid environment of summer air, sunshine, 
and stability. Only he was not made that way. In 
that swift mid-air moment he lived as he could never 
have lived on the bank. 

As for myself, I'd rather be that man than the fel- 
lows who sat on the bank and watched him. That is 
why I am building the Snark. I am so made. I like, 
that is all. The trip around the world means big 

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moments of living. Bear with me a moment and look 
at it. Here am I, a little animal called a man — a bit of 
vitalized matter, one hundred and sixty-five pounds of 
meat and blood, nerve, sinew, bones, and brain, — all 
of it soft and tender, susceptible to hurt, fallible, and 
frail. I strike a light back-handed blow on the nose 
of an obstreperous horse, and a bone in my hand is 
broken. I put my head under the water for five min- 
utes, and I am drowned. I fall twenty feet through 
the air, and I am smashed. I am a creature of tem- 
perature. A few degrees one way, and my fingers 
and ears and toes blacken and drop oflF. A few de- 
grees the other way, and my skin blisters and shrivels 
away from the raw, quivering flesh. A few additional 
degrees either way, and the life and the light in me go 
out. A drop of poison injected into my body from a 
snake, and I cease to move — forever I cease to move. 
A splinter of lead from a rifle enters my head, and I 
am wrapped around in the eternal blackness. 

Fallible and frail, a bit of pulsating, jelly-like life — 
it is all I am. About me are the great natural forces 
— colossal menaces. Titans of destruction, unsenti- 
mental monsters that have less concern for me than I 
have for the grain of sand I crush under my foot. 
They have no concern at all for me. They do not 
know me. They are unconscious, unmerciful, and 
unmoral. They are the cyclones and tornadoes, light- 
ning flashes and cloud-bursts, tide-rips and tidal waves, 
undertows and waterspouts, great whirls and sucks and 
eddies, earthquakes and volcanoes, surfs that thunder 
on rock-ribbed coasts and seas that leap aboard the 
largest crafts that float, crushing humans to pulp or 
licking them off into the sea and to death — and these 

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insensate monsters do not know that tiny sensitive 
creature, all nerves and weaknesses, whom men call 
Jack London, and who himself thinks he is all right 
and quite a superior being. ^ 

In the maze and chaos of the conflict of these vast 
and draughty Titans, it is for me to thread my preca- 
rious way. The bit of life that is I will exult over 
them. The bit of life that is I, in so far as it succeeds 
in baflling them or in bitting them to its service, will 
imagine that it is godlike. It is good to ride the tem- 
pest and feel godlike. I dare to assert that for a fi- 
nite speck of pulsating jelly to feel godlike is a far 
more glorious feeling than for a god to feel godlike. 

Here is the sea, the wind, and the wave. Here are 
the seas, the winds, and the waves of all the world. 
Here is ferocious environment. And here is difficult 
adjustment, the achievement of which is delight to the 
small quivering vanity that is I. I like. I am so 
made. It is my own particular form of vanity, that is 

There is also another side to the voyage of the 
Snark. Being alive, I want to see, and all the world is 
a bigger thing to see than one small town or valley. 
We have done little outlining of the voyage. Only 
one thing is definite, and that is that our first port of 
call will be Honolulu. Beyond a few general ideas, we 
have no thought of our next port after Hawaii. We 
shall make up our minds as we get nearer. In a gen- 
eral way we know that we shall wander through the 
South Seas, take in Samoa, New Zealand, Tasmania, 
Australia, New Guinea, Borneo, and Sumatra, and 
go on up through the Philippines to Japan. Then 
will come Korea, China, India, the Red Sea, and the 

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Mediterranean. After that the voyage becomes too 
vague to describe, though we know a number of things 
we shall surely do, and we expect to spend from one to 
several months in every country in Europe. 

The Snark is to be sailed. There will be a gasolene 
engine on board, but it will be used only in case of 
emergency, such as in bad water among reefs and 
shoals, where a sudden calm in a swift current leaves a 
sailing-boat helpless. The rig of the Snark is to be 
what is called the " ketch." The ketch rig is a com- 
promise between the yawl and the schooner. Of late 
years the yawl rig has proved the best for cruising. 
The ketch retains the cruising virtues of the yawl, and 
in addition manages to embrace a few of the sailing 
virtues of the schooner. The foregoing must be taken 
with a pinch of salt. It is all theory in my head. I've 
never sailed a ketch, nor even seen one. The theory 
commends itself to me. Wait till I get out on the 
ocean, then I'll be able to tell more about the cruising 
and sailing qualities of the ketch. 

As originally planned, the Snark was to be forty 
feet long on the water-line. But we discovered there 
was no space for a bath-room, and for that reason 
we have increased her length to forty-five feet. Her 
•greatest beam is fifteen feet. She has no house and no 
hold. There is six feet of headroom, and the deck is 
unbroken save for two companion ways and a hatch 
for'ard. The fact that there is no house to break the 
strertgth of the deck will make us feel safer in case 
great seas thunder their tons of water down on board. 
A large and roomy cockpit, sunk beneath the deck, 
with high rail and self-bailing, will make our rough- 
weather days and nights more comfortable. 

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There will be no crew. Or, rather, Charmian, 
Roscoe, and I are the crew. We are going to do the 
thing with our own hands. With our own hands 
we're going to circumnavigate the globe. Sail her or 
sink her, with our own hands we'll do it. Of course 
there will be a cook and a cabin-boy. Why should we 
stew over a stove, wash dishes, and set the table? 
We could stay on land if we wanted to do those 
things. Besides, we've got to stand watch and work 
the ship. And also, I've got to work at my trade of 
writing in order to feed us and to get new sails and 
tackle and keep the Snark in efficient working order. 
And then there's the ranch; I've got to keep the vine- 
yard, orchard, and hedges growing. 

When we increased the length of the Snark in order 
to get space for a bath-room, we found that all the 
space was not required by the bath-room. Because of 
this, we increased the size of the engine. Seventy 
horse-power our engine is, and since we expect it to 
drive us along at a nine-knot clip, we do not know the 
name of a river with a current swift enough to defy 

We expect to do a lot of inland work. The small- 
ness of the Snark makes this possible. When we enter 
the land, out go the masts and on goes the engine. 
There are the canals of China, and the Yang-tse River. 
We shall spend months on them if we can get permis- 
sion from the government. That will be the one 
obstacle to our inland voyaging — governmental per- 
mission. But if we can get that permission, there 
is scarcely a limit to the inland voyaging we can do. 

When we come to the Nile, why we can go up the 
Nile. We can go up the Danube to Vienna, up the 

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Thames to London, and we can go up the Seine to 
Paris and moor opposite the Latin Quarter with a 
bow-line out to Notre Dame and a stern-line fast to 
the Morgue. We can leave the Mediterranean and 
go up the Rhone to Lyons, there enter the Saone, 
cross from the Saone to the Marne through the 
Canal de Bourgogne, and from the Marne enter the 

The Snark Set Up. 


Seine and go out the Seine at Havre. When 
cross the Atlantic to the United States, we can go up 
the Hudson, pass through the Erie Canal, cross the 
Great Lakes, leave Lake Michigan at Chicago, gain 
the Mississippi by way of the Illinois River and the 
connecting canal, and go down the Mississippi to the 
Gulf of Mexico. And then there are the great rivers 
of South America. We'll know something about ge- 
ography when we get back to California. 

People that build houses are often sore perplexed ; 
but if they enjoy the strain of it. Til advise them to 

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build a boat like the Snark. Just consider, for a mo- 
ment, the strain of detail. Take the engine. What 
is the best kind of engine — the two cycle ? three cy- 
le ? four cycle ? My lips are mutilated with all kinds 
lof strange jargon, my mind is mutilated with still 
stranger ideas and is foot-sore and weary from travel- 
ling in new and rocky realms of thought. — Ignition 


Interior View of Frame. 

methods ; shall it be make-and-break or jump-spark ? 
Shall dry cells or storage batteries be used ? A stor- 
age battery commends itself, but it requires a dynamo. 
How powerful a dynamo? And when we have in- 
stalled a dynamo and a storage battery, it is simply 
ridiculous not to light the boat with electricity. Then 
comes the discussion of how many lights and how 
many candle-power. It is a splendid idea. But elec- 
tric lights will demand a more powerful storage battery, 
which, in turn, demands a more powerful dynamo. 

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And now that we've gone in for it, why not have a 
searchlight? It would be tremendously useful. But 
the searchlight needs so much electricity that when it 
runs it will put all the other lights out of commission. 
Again we travel the weary road in the quest after more 
power for storage battery and dynamo. And then, 
when it is finally solved, some one asks, " What if the 
engine breaks down ? " And we collapse. There are 
the sidelights, the binnacle light, and the anchor light. 
Our very lives depend upon them. So we have to fit 
the boat throughout with oil lamps as well. 

But we are not done with that engine yet. The 
engine is powerful. We are two small men and a 
small woman. It will break our hearts and our backs 
to hoist anchor by hand. Let the engine do it. And 
then comes the problem of how to convey power for- 
ward from the engine to the winch. And by the time 
all this is settled, we redistribute the allotments of 
space to the engine-room, galley, bath-room, state-rooms, 
and cabin, and begin all over again. And when we 
have shifted the engine, I send off a telegram of gib- 
berish to its makers at New York, something like this: 
Toggle-joint abandoned change thrust-bearing accordingly 
distance from forward side of flywheel to face of sternpost 
sixteen feet six inches. 

Just potter around in quest of the best steering gear, 
or try to decide whether you will set up your rigging 
with old-fashioned lanyards or with turnbuckles, if you 
want strain of detail. Shall the binnacle be located in 
front of the wheel in the centre of the beam, or shall it 
be located to one side in front of the wheel ? — there's 
room right there for a library of sea-dog controversy. 
Then there's the problem of gasolene, fifteen hundred 

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gallons of it — what are the safest ways to tank it and 
pipe it ? and which is the best fire-extinguisher for a 
gasolene fire ? Then there is the pretty problem of 
the life-boat and the stowage of the same. And when 
that is finished, come the cook and cabin-boy to con- 
front one with nightmare possibilities. It is a small 
boat, and we'll be packed close together. The ser- 

HuU of the Snark. 

vant-girl problem of landsmen pales to insignificance. 
We did select one cabin-boy, and by that much were 
our troubles eased. And then the cabin-boy fell in 
love and resigned. 

And in the meanwhile how is a fellow to find time 
to study navigation — when he is divided between 
these problems and the earning of the money where- 
with to settle the problems ? Neither Roscoe nor I 
knows anything about navigation, and the summer is 
gone, and we are about to start, and the problems are 
thicker than ever, and the treasury is stuflFed with 

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emptiness. Well, anyway, it takes years to learn sea- 
manship, and both of us are seamen. If we don't find 
the time, we'll lay in the books and instruments and 
teach ourselves navigation on the ocean between San 
Francisco and Hawaii, 

There is one unfortunate and perplexing phase of 
the voyage of the Snark. Roscoe, who is to be my 
co-navigator, is a follower of one, Cyrus R. Teed. 
Now Cyrus R. Teed has a different cosmology from 
the one generally accepted, and Roscoe shares his 
views. Wherefore Roscoe believes that the surface of 
the earth is concave and that we live on the inside of 
a hollow sphere. Thus, though we shall sail on the 
one boat, the Snark, Roscoe will journey around the 
world on the inside, while I shall journey around on 
the outside. But of this, more anon. We threaten 
to be of the one mind before the voyage is completed. 
I am confident that I shall convert him into making 
the journey on the outside, while he is equally confi- 
dent that before we arrive back in San Francisco I 
shall be on the inside of the earth. How he is going 
to get me through the crust I don't know, but Roscoe 
is ay a masterful man. 

P.S. — That engine ! While we've got it, and the 
dynamo, and the storage battery, why not have an ice- 
machine? Ice in the tropics! It is more necessary 
than bread. Here goes for the ice-machine ! Now I 
am plunged into chemistry, and my lips hurt, and my 
mind hurts, and how am I ever to find the time to 
study navigation ? 

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The Inconceivable and Monstrous 

" Spare no money," I said to Roscoe. " Let 
everything on the Snark be of the best. And never 
mind decoration. Plain pine boards is good enough 
finishing for me. But put the money into the con- 
struction. Let the Snark be as stanch and strong as 
any boat afloat. Never mind what it costs to make 
her stanch and strong; you see that she is made 
stanch and strong and \\\ go on writing and earning 
the money to pay for it." 

And I did ... as well as I could ; for the Snark 
ate up money faster than I could earn it. In fact, 
every little while I had to borrow money with which 
to supplement my earnings. Now I borrowed one 
thousand dollars, now I borrowed two thousand dollars, 
and now I borrowed five thousand dollars. And all 
the time I went on working every day and sinking the 
earnings in the venture. I worked Sundays as well, 
and I took no holidays. But it was worth it. Every 
time I thought of the Snark I knew she was worth it. 

For know, gentle reader, the stanch ness of the 
Snark. She is forty-five feet long on the water-line. 
Her garboard strake is three inches thick ; her plank- 
ing two atid one-half inches thick ; her deck-planking 
two inches thick ; and in all her planking there are no 
butts. I know, for I ordered that planking especially 
from Puget Sound. Then the Snark has four water- 
tight compartments, which is to say that her length is 


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broken by three water-tight bulkheads. Thus, no 
matter how large a leak the Snark may spring, only 
one compartment can fill with water. The other three 
compartments will keep her afloat anyway, and, besides, 
will enable us to mend the leak. There is another 
virtue in these bulkheads. The last compartment of 
all, in the very stern, contains six tanks that carry over 
one thousand gallons of gasolene. Now gasolene is a 
very dangerous article to carry in bulk on a small 
craft far out on the wide ocean. But when the six 
tanks that do not leak are themselves contained in a 
compartment hermetically sealed off from the rest of 
the boat, the danger will be seen to be very small 

The Snark is a sail-boat. She was built primarily to 
sail. But incidentally, as an auxiliary, a seventy-horse- 
power engine was installed. This is a good, strong 
engine. I ought to know. I paid for it to come out 
all the way from New York City. Then, on deck, 
above the engine, is a windlass. It is a magnificent 
aflFair. It weighs several hundred pounds and takes 
up no end of deck-room. You see, it is ridiculous to 
hoist up anchor by hand-power when there is a seventy- 
horse-power engine on board. So we installed the 
windlass, transmitting power to it from the engine by 
means of a gear and castings specially made in a San 
Francisco foundry. 

The Snark was made for comfort, and no expense 
was spared in this regard. There is the bath-room, for 
instance, small and compact, it is true, but containing 
all the conveniences of any bath-room upon land. The 
bath-room is a beautiful dream of schemes and devices, 
pumps, and levers, and sea-valves. Why, in the course 

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of its building, I used to He awake nights thinking about 
that bath-room. And next to the bath-room come the 
life-boat and the launch. They are carried on deck, 
and they take up what little space might have been left 
us for exercise. But then, they beat life insurance; 
and the prudent man, even if he has built as stanch 
and strong a craft as the Snarky will see to it that he 
has a good life-boat as well. And ours is a good one. 
It is a dandy. It was stipulated to cost one hundred 
and fifty dollars, and when I came to pay the bill, it 
turned out to be three hundred and ninety-five dollars. 
That shows how good a life-boat it is. 

I could go on at great length relating the various 
virtues and excellences of the Snarky but I refrain. I 
have bragged enough as it is, and I have bragged to a 
purpose, as will be seen before my tale is ended. And 
please remember its title, " The Inconceivable and 
Monstrous." It was planned that the Snark should 
sail on October i, 1906, That she did not so sail 
was inconceivable and monstrous. There was no valid 
reason for not sailing except that she was not ready to 
sail, and there was no conceivable reason why she was 
not ready. She was promised on November first, on 
November fifteenth, on December first ; and yet she 
was never ready. On December first Charmian and I 
left the sweet, clean Sonoma country and came down 
to live in the stifling city — but not for long, oh, no, 
only for two weeks, for we would sail on Decem- 
ber fifteenth. And I guess we ought to know, for 
Roscoe said so, and it was on his advice that we 
came to the city to stop two weeks. Alas, the two 
weeks went by, four weeks went by, six weeks went 
by, eight weeks went by, and we were farther away 

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from sailing than ever. Explain it? Who? — me? 
I can't. It is the one thing in all my life that I have 
backed down on. There is no explaining it; if there 
were, I'd do it. I, who am an artisan of speech, 
confess my inability to explain why the Snark was not 
ready. As I have said, and as I must repeat, it was 
inconceivable and monstrous. 

The eight weeks became sixteen weeks, and then, 
one day, Roscoe cheered us up by saying : 

" If we don't sail before April first, you can use my 
head for a foot-ball." 

Two weeks later he said, " I'm getting my head in 
training for that match." 

" Never mind," Charmian and I said to each other; 
" think of the wonderful boat it is going to be when it 
is completed." 

Whereat we would rehearse for our mutual encour- 
agement the manifold virtues and excellences of the 
Snark. Also, I would borrow more money, and I would 
get down closer to my desk and write harder, and I 
refused heroically to take a Sunday off and go out into 
the hills with my friends. I was building a boat, and 
by the eternal it was going to be a boat, and a boat 
spelled out all in capitals — B— O-A-T; and no mat- 
ter what it cost I didn't care, so long as it was a 

And, oh, there is one other excellence of the Snarky 
upon which I must brag, namely, her bow. No sea 
could ever come over it. It laughs at the sea, that 
bow does ; it challenges the sea ; it snorts defiance at 
the sea. And withal it is a beautiful bow ; the lines 
of it are dreamlike ; I doubt if ever a boat was blessed 
with a more beautiful and at the same time a more ca- 

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pable bow. It was made to punch storms. To touch 
that bow is to rest one's hand on the cosmic nose of 
things. To look at it is to realize that expense cut no 
figure where it was concerned. And every time our 
sailing was delayed, or a new expense was tacked on, 
we thought of that wonderful bow and were content. 

The Snark is a small boat. When I figured seven 
thousand dollars as her generous cost, I was both gen- 
erous and correct. I have built barns and houses, and 
I know the peculiar trait such things have of running 
past their estimated cost. This knowledge was mine, 
was already mine, when I' estimated the probable cost 
of the building of the Snark at seven thousand dollars. 
Well, she cost thirty thousand. Now don't ask me, 
please. It is the truth. I signed the checks and I 
raised the money. Of course there is no explaining it. 
Inconceivable and monstrous is what it is, as you will 
agree, I know, ere my tale is done. 

Then there was the matter of delay. I dealt with 
forty-seven different kinds of union men and with one 
hundred and fifteen diflFerent firms. And not one union 
man and not one firm of all the union men and all 
the firms ever delivered anything at the time agreed 
upon, nor ever was on time for anything except pay- 
day and bill-collection. Men pledged me their im- 
mortal souls that they would deliver a certain thing 
on a certain date; as a rule, after such pledging, they 
rarely exceeded being three months late in delivery. 
And so it went, and Charmian and I consoled each 
other by saying what a splendid boat the Snark was, so 
stanch and strong; also, we would get into the small 
boat and row around the Snarky and gloat over her 
unbelievably wonderful bow. 

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" Think," I would say to Charmian, "of a gale off the 
China coast, and of the Snark hove to, that splendid 
bow of hers driving into the storm. Not a drop will 
come over that bow. She'll be as dry as a feather, 
and we'll be all 
below playing 
whist while the 
gale howls/' 

And Charmian 
would press my 
hand enthusiasti- 
cally and exclaim : 
**It's worth every 
bit of it — the 
delay, and ex- 
pense, and worry, 
and all the rest. 
Oh, what a truly 
wonderful boat ! " 

Whenever I 
looked at the bow 
of the Snark or 
thought of her 
water-tight com- 
partments, I was 
encouraged. Nobody else, however, was encouraged. 
My friends began to make bets against the various 
sailing dates of the Snark. Mr. Wiget, who was left 
behind in charge of our Sonoma ranch, was the first to 
cash his bet. He collected on New Year's Day, 1907. 
After that the bets came fast and furious. My friends 
surrounded me like a gang of harpies, making bets 
against every sailing date I set. I was rash, and I was 

Charmian and the Skipper. 

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stubborn. I bet, and I bet, and I continued to bet ; 
and I paid them all. Why, the womenkind of my 
friends grew so brave that those among them who 
never bet before began to bet with me. And I paid 
them, too. 

" Never mind," said Charmian to me ; "just think 
of that bow and of being hove to on the China Seas." 

" You see," I said to my friends, when I paid the 
latest bunch of wagers, " neither trouble nor cash is 
being spared in making the Snark the most seaworthy 
craft that ever sailed out through the Golden Gate — 
that is what causes all the delay." 

In the meantime editors and publishers with whom 
I had contracts pestered me with demands for explana- 
tions. But how could I explain to them, when I was 
unable to explain to myself, or when there was nobody, 
not even Roscoe, to explain to me ? The newspapers 
began to laugh at me, and to publish rhymes anent 
the Snark' s departure with refrains like, " Not yet but 
soon." And Charmian cheered me up by reminding 
me of the bow, and I went to a banker and borrowed 
five thousand more. There was one recompense for 
the delay, however. A friend of mine, who happens 
to be a critic, wrote a roast of me, of all I had done, 
and of all I ever was going to do; and he planned to 
have it published after I was out on the ocean. I was 
still on shore when it came out, and he has been busy 
explaining ever since. 

And the time continued to go by. One thing was 
becoming apparent, namely, that it was impossible to 
finish the Snark in San Francisco. She had been so 
long in the building that she was beginning to break 
down and wear out. In fact, she had reached the 

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stage where she was breaking down faster than she 
could be repaired. She had become a joke. Nobody 
took her seriously ; least of all the men who worked 
on her. I said we would sail just as she was and finish 
building her in Honolulu. Promptly she sprang a 
leak that had to be attended to before we could sail. 
I started her for the boat-ways. Before she got to 
them she was caught between two huge barges and re- 
ceived a vigorous crushing. We got her on the ways, 
and, part way along, the ways spread and dropped her 
through, stern-first, into the mud. 

It was a pretty tangle, a job for wreckers, not boat- 
builders. There are two high tides every twenty-four 
hours, and at every high tide, night and day, for a 
week, there were two steam tugs pulling and hauling 
on the Snark. There she was, stuck, fallen between 
the ways and standing on her stern. Next, and while 
still in that predicament, we started to use the gears 
and castings made in the local foundry whereby power 
was conveyed from the engine to the windlass. It was 
the first time we ever tried to use that windlass. The 
castings had flaws ; they shattered asunder, the gears 
ground together, and the windlass was out of commis- 
sion. Following upon that, the seventy-horse-power 
engine went out of commission. This engine came 
from New York ; so did its bed-plate ; there was a 
flaw in the bed-plate ; there were a lot of flaws in the 
bed-plate ; and the seventy-horse-power engine broke 
away from its shattered foundations, reared up in the 
air, smashed all connections and fastenings, and fell 
over on its side. And the Snark continued to stick 
between the spread ways, and the two tugs continued 
to haul vainly upon her. 

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"Nevermind/* said Charmian, "think of what a 
stanch, strong boat she is." 

" Yes," said I, " and of that beautiful bow." 

So we took heart and went at it again. The ruined 
engine was lashed down on its rotten foundation ; the 
smashed castings and cogs of the power transmission 
were taken down and stored away — all for the purpose 
of taking them to Honolulu where repairs and new 
castings could be made. Somewhere in the dim past 
the Snark had received on the outside one coat of white 
paint. The intention of the color was still evident, 
however, when one got it in the right light. The 
Snark had never received any paint on the inside. On 
the contrary, she was coated inches thick with the 
grease and tobacco-juice of the multitudinous mechanics 
who had toiled upon her. Never mind, we said ; the 
grease and filth could be planed off, and later, when 
we fetched Honolulu, the Snark could be painted at 
the same time she was being rebuilt. 

By main strength and sweat we dragged the Snark 
off from the wrecked ways and laid her alongside the 
Oakland City Wharf The drays brought all the 
outfit from home, the books and blankets and personal 
luggage. Along with this, everything else came on 
board in a torrent of confusion — wood and coal, water 
and water^tanks, vegetables, provisions, oil, the life-boat 
and the launch, all our friends, all the friends of our 
friends and those who claimed to be their friends, to say 
nothing of some of the friends of the friends of the friends 
of our crew. Also there were reporters, and photogra- 
phers, and strangers, and cranks, and finally, and over 
all, clouds of coal-dust from the wharf. 

We were to sail Sunday at eleven, and Saturday after- 

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noon had arrived. The crowd on the wharf and the 
coal-dust were thicker than ever. In one pocket I 
carried a check-book, a fountain-pen, a dater, and a 
blotter ; in another pocket I carried between one and 
two thousand dollars in paper money and gold. I was 
ready for the creditors, cash for the small ones and 

iL / 


^^^^E^^^^^^^^H^- ^m^^s^M 


^ ' - 


Taking on Stores at Oakland City Wharf. 

checks for the large ones, and was waiting only for Ros- 
coe to arrive with the balances of the accounts of the 
hundred and fifteen firms who had delayed me so many 
months. And then — 

And then the inconceivable and monstrous hap- 
pened once more. Before Roscoe could arrive there 
arrived another man. He was a United States 
marshal. He tacked a notice on the Snark*s brave 

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mast so that all on the wharf could read that the Snark 
had been libelled for debt. The marshal left a little old 
man in charge of the Snark, and himself went away. 
I had no longer any control of the Snarky nor of her 
wcfnderful bow. The little old man was now her lord 
and master, and I learned that I was paying him three 
dollars a day for being lord and master. Also, I learned 
the name of the man who had libelled the Snark. It 
was Sellers; the debt was two hundred and thirty-two 
dollars; and the deed was no more than was to be expected 
from the possessor of such a name. Sellers ! Ye gods ! 
Sellers ! 

But who under the sun was Sellers ? I looked in 
my check-book and saw that two weeks before I had 
made him out a check for five hundred dollars. Other 
check-books showed me that during the many months 
of the building of the Snark I had paid him several 
thousand dollars. Then why in the name of common 
decency hadn't he tried to collect his miserable little 
balance instead of libelling the Snark? I thrust my 
hands into my pockets, and in one pocket encountered 
the check-book and the dater and the pen, and in the 
other pocket the gold money and the paper money. 
There was the wherewithal to settle his pitiful account 
a few score of times and over — why hadn't he given 
me a chance ? There was no explanation ; it was 
merely the inconceivable and monstrous. 

To make the matter worse, the Snark had been li- 
belled late Saturday afternoon ; and though I sent law- 
yers and agents all over Oakland and San Francisco, 
neither United States judge, nor United States mar- 
shal, nor Mr. Sellers, nor Mr. Sellers' attorney, nor 
anybody could be found. They were all out of town 

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for the week end. And so the Snark did not sail Sunday 
morning at eleven. The little old man was still in 
charge, and he said no. And Charmian and I walked 
out on an opposite wharf and took consolation in the 
Aj/z^r/tV wonderful bow and thought of all the gales and 
typhoons it would proudly punch. 

" A bourgeois trick," I said to Charmian, speaking 
of Mr. Sellers and his libel ; " a petty trader's panic. 
But nevermind; our troubles will cease when once we 
are away from this and out on the wide ocean." 

And in the end we sailed away, on Tuesday morning, 
April 23, 1907. We started rather lame, I confess. 
We had to hoist anchor by hand, because the power 
transmission was a wreck. Also, what remained of our 
seventy-horse-power engine was lashed down- for bal- 
last on the bottom of the Snark. But what of such 
things ? They could be fixed in Honolulu, and in the 
meantime think of the magnificent rest of the boat ! 
It is true, the engine in the launch wouldn't run, and 
the life-boat leaked like a sieve ; but then they weren't 
the Snark ; they were mere appurtenances. The things 
that counted were the water-tight bulkheads, the solid 
planking without butts, the bath-room devices — they 
were the Snark. And then there was, greatest of all, 
that noble, wind-punching bow. 

We sailed out through the Golden Gate and set our 
course south toward that part of the Pacific where we 
could hope to pick up with the northeast trades. And 
right away things began to happen. I had calculated 
that youth was the stuff for a voyage like that of the 
Snarkj and I had taken three youths — the engineer, 
the cook, and the cabin-boy. My calculation was 
only two-thirds off; I had forgotten to calculate on 

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seasick youth, and I had two of them, the cook and 
the cabin-boy. They immediately took to their bunks, 
and that was the end of their usefulness for a week to 
come. It will be understood, from the foregoing, that 
we did not have the hot meals we might have had, nor 
were things kept clean and orderly down below. But 
it did not matter very much anyway, for we 
quickly discovered that our box of oranges had at 
some time been frozen ; that our box of apples was 
mushy and spoiling; that the crate of cabbages, spoiled 
before it was ever delivered to us, had to go overboard 
instanter ; that kerosene had been spilled on the carrots, 
and that the turnips were woody and the beets rotten, 
while the kindling was dead wood that wouldn't burn, 
and the coal, delivered in rotten potato-sacks, had spilled 
all over the deck and was washing through the scup- 

But what did it matter? Such things were mere ac- 
cessories. There was the boat — she was all right, 
wasn't she ? I strolled along the deck and in one minute 
counted fourteen butts in the beautiful planking or- 
dered specially from Puget Sound in order that there 
should be no butts in it. Also, that deck leaked, and it 
leaked badly. It drowned Roscoe out of his bunk and 
ruined the tools in the engine-room, to say nothing of 
the provisions it ruined in the galley. Also, the sides of 
the Snark leaked, and the bottom leaked, and we had to 
pump her every day to keep her afloat. The floor of 
the galley is a couple of feet above the inside bottom 
of the Snark ; and yet I have stood on the floor of the 
galley, trying to snatch a cold bite, and been wet to the 
knees by the water churning around inside four hours 
after the last pumping. 

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Then those magnificent water-tight compartments 
that cost so much time and money — well, they weren't 
water-tight after all. The water moved free as the air 
from one compartment to another; furthermore, a 
strong smell of gasolene from the after compartment 
leads me to suspect that some one or more of the half- 
dozen tanks there stored have sprung a leak. The 
tanks leak, and they are not hermetically sealed in their 
compartment. Then there was the bath-room with its 
pumps and levers and sea-valves — it went out of com- 
mission inside the first twenty hours. Powerful iron 
levers broke oflF short in one's hand when one tried to 
pump with them. The bath-room was the swiftest 
wreck of any portion of the Snark. 

And the iron-work on the Snarky no matter what its 
source, proved to be mush. For instance, the bed-plate 
of the engine came from New York, and it was mush ; 
so were the casting and gears for the windlass that came 
from San Francisco. And finally, there was the 
-wrought iron used in the rigging, that carried away in 
•all directions when the first strams were put upon it. 
Wrought iron, mind you, and it snapped like macaroni. 

A gooseneck on the gaflF of the mainsail broke short 
oflF. We replaced it with the gooseneck from the gaflF 
of the storm trysail, and the second gooseneck broke 
short oflF inside fifteen minutes of use, and, mind you, it 
had been taken from the gaflF of the storm trysail, upon 
which we would have depended in time of storm. At 
the present moment the Snark trails her mainsail like a 
broken wing, the gooseneck being replaced by a rough 
lashing.. We'll see if we can get honest iron in 

Man had betrayed us and sent us to sea in a sieve. 

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but the Lord must have loved us, for we had calm 
weather in which to learn that we must pump every 
day in order to keep afloat, and that more trust could 
be placed in a wooden toothpick than in the most 
massive piece of iron to be found aboard. As the 
stanchness and the strength of the Snark went glim- 
mering, Charmian and I pinned our faith more and 
more to the Snark* s wonderful bow. There was noth- 
ing else left to pin to. It was all inconceivable and 
monstrous, we knew, but that bow, at least, was ra- 
tional. And then, one evening, we started to heave 

How shall I describe it? First of all, for the bene- 
fit of the tyro, let me explain that heaving to is that 
sea manoeuvre which, by means of short and balanced 
canvas, compels a vessel to ride bow-on to wind and 
sea. When the wind is too strong, or the sea is too 
high, a vessel of the size of the Snark can heave to 
with ease, whereupon there is no more work to do on 
deck. Nobody needs to steer. The lookout is super- 
flous. All hands can go below and sleep or play whist. 

Well, it was blowing half of a small summer gale, 
when I told Roscoe we'd heave to. Night was com- 
ing on. I had been steering nearly all day, and 
all hands on deck (Roscoe and Bert and Charmian) 
were tired, while all hands below were seasick. It 
happened that we had already put two reefs in the 
big mainsail. The flying-jib and the jib were taken 
in, and a reef put in the forestaysail. The mizzen was 
also taken in. About this time the flying jib-boom 
buried itself in a sea and broke short oflT. I started to 
put the wheel down in order to heave to. The Snark 
at the moment was rolling in the trough. She contin- 

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ued rolling in the trough. I put the spokes down 
harder and harder. She never budged from the 
trough. (The trough, gentle reader, is the most 
dangerous position of all in which to lay a vessel.) 
I put the wheel hard down, and still the Snark rolled 
in the trough. Eight points was the nearest I could 
get her to the wind. I had Roscoe and Bert come 

Our Head-sails. 

in on the main-sheet. The Snark rolled on in the 
trough, now putting her rail under on one side and 
now under on the other side. 

Again the inconceivable and monstrous was showing 
its grizzly head. It was grotesque, impossible. I re- 
fused to believe it. Under double-reefed mainsail and 
single-reefed staysail the Snark refused to heave to. 
We flattened the mainsail down. It did not alter the 
Snark' s course a tenth of a degree. We slacked the 
mainsail oflF with no more result. We set a storm 

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trysail on the mizzen, and took in the mainsail. No 
change. The Snark rolled on in the trough. That 
beautiful bow of hers refused to come up and face the 

Next we took in the reefed staysail. Thus, the 
only bit of canvas left on her was the stqrm trysail on 
the mizzen. If anything would bring her bow up to 
the wind, that would. Maybe you won't believe me 
when I say it failed, but I do say it failed. And I say 
it failed because I saw it fail, and riot because I believe 
it failed. I don't believe it did fail. It is unbelievable, 
and I am not telling you what I believe ; I am telling 
you what I saw. 

Now, gentle reader, what would you do if you were 
on a small boat, rolling in the trough of the sea, a try- 
sail on that small boat's stern that was unable to swing 
the bow up into the wind ? Get out the sea-anchor. 
It's just what we did. We had a patent one, made to 
order and warranted not to dive. Imagine a hoop of 
steel that serves to keep open the mouth of a large, 
conical, canvas bag, and you have a sea-anchor. Well, 
we made a line fast to the sea-anchor and to the bow 
of the Snark, and then dropped the sea-anchor over- 
board. It promptly dived. We had a tripping line 
on it, so we tripped the sea-anchor and hauled it in. 
We attached a big timber as a float, and dropped the 
sea-anchor over again. This time it floated. The 
line to the bow grew taut. The trysail on the mizzen 
tended to swing the bqw into the wind, but, in spite of 
this tendency, the Snark calmly took that sea-anchor 
in her teeth, and went on ahead, dragging it after her, 
still in the trough of the sea. And there you are. 
We even took in the trysail, hoisted the full mizzen 

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in its place, and hauled the full mizzen down flat, and 
the Snark wallowed in the trough and dragged the sea- 
anchor behind 
her. Don't be- 
lieve me. I 
don't believe it 
myself. I am 
merely telling 
you what I saw. 
Now I leave 
it to you. Who 
ever heard of 
a sailing-boat 
that wouldn't 
heave to? — that 
wouldn't heave 
to with a sea- 
anchor to help 
it ? Out of my 
brief experience 
with boats I 
know I never 
did. And I 
stood on deck 
and looked on 
the naked face 
of the inconceiv- 
able and mon- 
stro u s — th e 
Snark that wouldn't heave to. A stormy night with 
broken moonlight had come on. There was a splash 
of wet in the air, and up to windward there was a prom- 
ise of rain-squalls; and then there was the trough of 

The two boats, on deck, left little room. 

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the sea, cold and cruel in the moonlight, in which the 
Snark complacently rolled. And then we took in the 
sea-anchor and the mizzen, hoisted the reefed staysail, 
ran the Snark off before it, and went below — not to 
the hot meal that should have awaited us, but to skate 
across the slush and slime on the cabin floor, where 
cook and cabin-boy lay like dead men in their bunks, 
and to lie down in our own bunks, with our clothes on 
ready for a call, and to listen to the bilge-water spout- 
ing knee-high on the galley floor. 

In the Bohemian Club of San Francisco there are 
some crack sailors. I know, because I heard them 
pass judgment on the Snark during the process of her 
building. They found only one vital thing the matter 
with her, and on this they were all agreed, namely, that 
she could not run. She was all right in every par- 
ticular, they said, except that Td never be able to run 
her before it in a stiff wind and sea. " Her lines," 
they explained enigmatically, " it is the fault of her 
lines. She simply cannot be made to run, that is all." 
Well, I wish I'd only had those crack sailors of the 
Bohemian Club on board the Snark the other night for 
them to see for themselves their one, vital, unanimous 
judgment absolutely reversed. Run? It is the one thing 
the Snark does to perfection. Run? She ran with a 
sea-anchor fast for'ard and a full mizzen flattened down 
aft. Run ? At the present moment, as I write this, 
we are bowling along before it, at a six-knot clip, in the 
northeast trades. Quite a tidy bit of sea is running. 
There is nobody at the wheel, the wheel is not even 
lashed and is set over a half-spoke weather helm. To 
be precise, the wind is northeast ; the Snark' s mizzen is 
furled, her mainsail is over to starboard, her head- 

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sheets are hauled flat; and the Snark's course is south- 
southwest. And yet there are men who have sailed 
the seas for forty years and who hold that no boat can 
run before it without being steered. They'll call me a 
liar when they read this ; it's what they called Captain 
Slocum when he said the same of his Spray. 

As regards the future of the Snark I'm all at sea. I 
don't know. If I had the money or the credit, I'd 
build another Snark that would heave to. But I am at 
the end of my resources. I've got to put up with the 
present Snark or quit — and I can't quit. So I guess 
I'll have to try to get along with heaving the Snark 
to stern-first. I am waiting for the next gale to see 
how it will work. I think it can be done. It all 
depends on how her stern takes the seas. And who 
knows but that some wild morning on the China Sea, 
some gray-beard skipper will stare, rub his incredulous 
eyes and stare again, at the spectacle of a weird, small 
craft, very much like the Snarky hove to stern-first and 
riding out the gale ? 

P.S. On my return to California after the voyage, 
I learned that the Snark was forty-three feet on the 
water-line instead of forty-five. This was due to 
the fact that the builder was not on speaking terms 
with the tape-line or two-foot rule. 

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No, adventure is not dead, and in spite of the steam 
engine and of Thomas Cook & Son. When the an- 
nouncement of the contemplated voyage of the Snark 
was made, young men of " roving disposition " proved 
to be legion, and young women as well — to say nothing 
of the elderly men and women who volunteered for the 
voyage. Why, among my personal friends there were 
at least half a dozen who regretted their recent or 
imminent marriages ; and there was one marriage I 
know of that almost failed to come off because of the 

Every mail to me was burdened with the letters of 
applicants who were suffocating in the "man-stifled 
towns," and it soon dawned upon me that a twentieth 
century Ulysses required a corps of stenographers to 
clear his correspondence before setting sail. No, ad- 
venture is certainly not dead — not while one receives 
letters that begin : " There is no doubt that when 
you read this soul-plea from a female stranger in New 
York City," etc. ; and wherein one learns, a little farther 
on, that this female stranger weighs only ninety pounds, 
wants to be cabin-boy, and " yearns to see the countries 
of the world." 

The possession of a " passionate fondness for geog- 
raphy," was the way one applicant expressed the wan- 
der-lust that was in him ; while another wrote, " I 
am cursed with an eternal yearning to be always on the 


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move, consequently this letter to you/' But best of 
all was the fellow who said he wanted to come because 
his feet itched. 

There were a few who wrote anonymously, suggest- 
ing names of friends and giving said friends' qualifica- 
tions ; but to me there was a hmt of something sinister 
in such proceedings, and I 
went no further in the matter. 

With two or three excep- 
tions, all -the hundreds that 
volunteered for my crew were 
very much in earnest. Many 
of them sent their photo- 
graphs. Ninety per cent of- 
fered to work in any capacity, 
and ninety-nine per cent of- 
fered to work without salary. 
" Contemplating your voyage 
on the Snarky' said one, " and 
notwithstanding its attendant 
dangers, to accompany you (in 
any capacity whatever) would 
be the climax of my ambi- 
tions." Which reminds me of the young fellow 
who was "seventeen years old and ambicious," and 
who, at the end of his letter, earnestly requested " but 
please do not let this git into the papers or magazines." 
Quite different was the one who said, " I would be 
willingto work like hell and not demand pay." Almost 
all of them wanted me to telegraph, at their expense, 
my acceptance of their services ; and quite a number 
offered to put up a bond to guarantee their appearance 
on sailing date. 

The Best Adventurer of Them 

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Some were rather vague in their own minds concern- 
ing the work to be done on the Snark; as, for instance, 
the one who wrote : " I am taking the liberty of writ- 
ing you this note to find out if there would be any 
possibility of my going with you as one of the crew of 
your boat to make sketches and illustrations." Several, 
unaware of the needful work on a small craft like the 
Snarky offered to serve, as one of them phrased it, " as 
assistant in filing materials collected for books and 
novels." That's what one gets for being prolific. 

" Let me give my qualifications for the job," wrote 
one. " I am an orphan living with my uncle, who is 
a hot revolutionary socialist and who says a man with- 
out the red blood of adventure is an animated dish-rag." 
Said another : " I can swim some, though I don't know 
any of the new strokes. But what is more important 
than strokes, the water is a friend of mine." " If I 
was put alone in a sail-boat, I could get her anywhere 
I wanted to go," was the qualification of a third — and 
a better qualification than the one that follows, " I have 
also watched the fish-boats unload." But possibly the 
prize should go to this one, who very subtly conveys 
his deep knowledge of the world and life by saying : 
" My age, in years, is twenty-two." 

Then there were the simple, straight-out, homely, 
and unadorned letters of young boys, lacking in the 
felicities of expression, it is true, but desiring greatly 
to make the voyage. These were the hardest of all to 
decline, and each time I declined one it seemed as if I 
had struck Youth a slap in the face. They were so 
earnest, these boys, they wanted so much to go. " I 
am sixteen but large for my age," said one ; and another, 
" Seventeen but large and healthy." " I am as strong 

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at least as the average boy of my size," said an evident 
weakling. " Not afraid of any kind of work," was 
what many said, while one in particular, to lure me no 
doubt by inexpensiveness, wrote : " I can pay my way 
to the Pacific coast, so that part would probably be 
acceptable to you." " Going around the world is M^ 
one thing I want to do," said one, and it seemed to be 
the one thing that a few hundred wanted to do. " I 
have no one who cares whether I go or not," was the 
pathetic note sounded by another. One had sent his 
photograph, and speaking of it, said, " I'm a homely- 
looking sort of a chap, but looks don't always count." 
And I am confident that the lad who wrote the follow- 
ing would have turned out all right: " My age is 19 
years, but I am rather small and consequently won't 
take up much room, but I'm tough as the devil." 
And there was one thirteen-year-old applicant that 
Charmian and I fell in love with, and it nearly broke 
our hearts to refuse him. 

But it must not be imagined that most of my volun- 
teers were boys ; on the contrary, boys constituted a 
very small proportion. There were men and women 
from every walk in life. Physicians, surgeons, and 
dentists offered in large numbers to come along, and, 
like all the professional men, offered to come without 
pay, to serve in any capacity, and to pay, even, for the 
privilege of so serving. 

There was no end of compositors and reporters who 
wanted to come, to say nothing of experienced valets, 
chefs, and stewards. Civil engineers were keen on the 
voyage ; " lady " companions galore cropped up for 
Charmian ; while I was deluged with the applications 
of would-be private secretaries. Many high school 

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and university students yearned for the voyage, and 
every trade in the working class developed a few appli- 
cants, the machinists, electricians, and engineers being 

especially strong on 
the trip. I was sur- 
prised at the number, 
who, in musty law of- 
fices, heard the call of 
adventure; and I was 
more than surprised by 
the number of elderly 
and retired sea captains 
who were still thralls 
to the sea. Several 
young fellows, with 
millions coming to 
them later on, were 
wild for the adventure, 
as were also several 
county superintend- 
ents of schools. 

Fathers and sons 
wanted to come, and 
many men with their 
wives, to say nothing 
of the young woman 
stenographer who 
wrote : " Write immediately if you need me. I shall 
bring my typewriter on the first train." But the best 
of all is the following — observe the delicate way in 
which he worked in his wife : " I thought I would 
drop you a line of inquiry as to the possibility of 
making the trip with you, am 24 years of age, mar- 

On a Level Sea. 

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ried and broke, and a trip of that kind would be just 
what we are looking for." 

Come to think of it, for the average man it must be 
fairly difficult to write an honest letter of self-recom- 
mendation. One of my correspondents was so stumped 
that he began his letter with the words, " This is a hard 
task " ; and, after vainly trying to describe his good 
points, he wound up with, " It is a hard job writing 
about one's self." Nevertheless, there was one who 
gave himself a most glowing and lengthy character, 
and in conclusion stated that he had greatly enjoyed 
writing it. 

" But suppose this : your cabin-boy could run your 
engine, could repair it when out of order. Suppose he 
could take his turn at the wheel, could do any carpen- 
ter or machinist work. Suppose he is strong, healthy, 
and willing to work. Would you not rather have him 
than a kid that gets seasick and can't do anything but 
wash dishes ? " It was letters of this sort that I hated 
to decline. The writer of it, self-taught in English, 
had been only two years in the United States, and, as 
he said, " I am not wishing to go with you to earn my 
living, but I wish to learn and see." At the time of 
writing to me he was a designer for one of the big 
motor manufacturing companies ; he had been to sea 
quite a bit, and had been used all his life to the hand- 
hng of small boats. 

" I have a good position, but it matters not so with 
me as I prefer travelling," wrote another. " As to sal- 
ary, look at me, and if I am worth a dollar or two, all 
right, and if I am not, nothing said. As to my honesty 
and character, I shall be pleased to show you my em- 
ployers. Never drink, no tobacco, but to be honest, I 

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myself, after a little more experience, want to do a little 

" I can assure you that I am eminently respectable, 
but find other respectable people tiresome." The 
man who wrote the foregoing certainly had me guess- 
ing, and I am still wondering whether or not he'd 
have found me tiresome, or what the deuce he did 

" I have seen better days than what I am passing 
through to-day," wrote an old salt, " but I have seen 
them a great deal worse also." 

But the willingness to sacrifice on the part of the 
man who wrote the following was so touching that I 
could not accept : " I have a father, a mother, brothers 
and sisters, dear friends and a lucrative position, and 
yet I will sacrifice all to become one of your crew." 

Another volunteer I could never have accepted was 
the finicky young fellow who, to show me how neces- 
sary it was that I should give him a chance, pointed 
out that " to go in the ordinary boat, be it schooner or 
steamer, would be impracticable, for I would have to 
mix among and live with the ordinary type of seamen, 
which as a rule is not a clean sort of life." 

Then there was the young fellow of twenty-six, who 
had " run through the gamut of human emotions," and 
had " done everything from cooking to attending Stan- 
ford University," and who, at the present writing, was 
" A vaquero on a fifty-five-thousand-acre range." Quite 
in contrast was the modesty of the one who said, " I 
am not aware of possessing any particular qualities that 
would be likely to recommend me to your consid- 
eration. But should you be impressed, you might 
consider it worth a few minutes' time to answer. Other- 

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wise, there's always work at the trade. Not expecting, 
but hoping, I remain, etc." 

But I have held my head in both my hands ever 
since, trying to figure out the intellectual kinship be- 
tween myself and the one who wrote : " Long before I 
knew of you, I had mixed political economy and 
history and deducted therefrom many of your conclu- 
sions in concrete." 

Here, in its way, is one of the best, as it is the brief- 
est, that I received : " If any of the present company 
signed on for cruise happens to get cold feet and you 
need one more who understands boating, engines, etc., 
would like to hear from you, etc." Here is another 
brief one: "Point blank, would like to have the job 
of cabin-boy on your trip around the world, or any 
other job on board. Am nineteen years old, weigh 
one hundred and forty pounds, and am an American." 

And here is a good one fi-om a man a " little over 
five feet long " : " When I read about your manly 
plan of sailing around the world in a small boat with 
Mrs. London, I was so much rejoiced that I felt I was 
planning it myself, and I thought to write you about 
filling either position of cook or cabin-boy myself, but 
for some reason I did not do it, and I came to Denver 
from Oakland to join my friend's business last month, 
but everything is worse and unfavorable. But fortu- 
nately you have postponed your departure on account 
of the great earthquake, so I finally decided to propose 
you to let me fill either of the positions. I am not 
very strong, being a man of a little over five feet long, 
although I am ot sound health and capability." 

" I think I can add to your outfit an additional 
method of utilizing the power of the wind," wrote a 

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well-wisher, " which, while not interfering with ordinary 
sails in light breezes, will enable you to use the whole 
force of the wind in its mightiest blows, so that even 
when its force is so great that you may have to take in 
every inch of canvas used in the ordinary way, you may 
carry the fullest spread with my method. With my 
attachment your craft could not be upset." 

The foregoing letter was written in San Francisco 
under the date of April i6, 1906. And two days later, 
on April 18, came the Great Earthquake. And that's 
why I've got it in for that earthquake, for it made a 
refugee out of the man who wrote the letter, and pre- 
vented us from ever getting together. 

Many of my brother socialists objected to my mak- 
ing the cruise, of which the following is typical : " The 
Socialist Cause and the millions of oppressed victims 
of Capitalism has a right and claim upon your life and 
services. If, however, you persist, then, when you 
swallow the last mouthful of salt chuck you can hold 
before sinking, remember that we at least protested." 

One wanderer over the world who "could, if oppor- 
tunity afforded, recount many unusual scenes and 
events," spent several pages ardently trying to get to 
the point of his letter, and at last achieved the follow- 
ing: "Still I am neglecting the point I set out to 
write you about. So will say at once that it has been 
stated in print that you and one or two others are 
going to take a cruize around the world in a little fifty- 
or sixty-foot boat. I therefore cannot get myself to 
think that a man of your attainments and experience 
would attempt such a proceeding, which is nothing less 
than courting death in that way. And even if you 
were to escape for some time, your whole Person, and 

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those with you would be bruised from the ceaseless, 
motion of a craft of the above size, even if she were 
padded, a thing not usual at sea." Thank you, kind 
friend, thank you 
for that qualifica- 
tion, "a thing not 
usual at sea." Nor 
is this friend igno- 
rant of the sea. As 
he says of himself, 
" I am not a land- 
lubber, and I have 
sailed every sea and 
ocean." And he 
winds up his letter 
with : " Although 
not wishing to of- 
fend, it would be 
madness to take any 
woman outside the 
bay even, in such a 

And yet, at the 
moment of writing 
this, Charmian is 
in her state-room 
at the typewriter, 
Martin is cooking 
dinner, Tochigi is setting the table, Roscoe and Bert 
are calking the deck, and the Snark is steering herself 
some five knots an hour in a rattling good sea — and 
the Snark is not padded, either. 

" Seeing a piece in the paper about your intended 

The Doldrums. 

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trip, would like to know if you would like a good 
crew, as there is six of us boys all good sailor men, 
with good discharges from the Navy and Merchant 
Service, all true Americans all between the ages of 20 
and 22, and at present are employed as riggers at the 
Union Iron Works, and would like very mutch to sail 
with you." — It was letters like this that made me 
regret the boat was not larger. 

And here writes the one woman in all the world — 
outside of Charmian — for the cruise : "If you have 
not succeeded in getting a cook I would like very 
much to take the trip in that capacity. I am a woman 
of fifty, healthy and capable, and can do the work for 
the small company that compose the crew of the Snark. 
I am a very good cook and a very good sailor, and 
something of a traveller, and the length of the voyage, 
if of ten years* duration, would suit me better than 
one. References, etc." 

Some day, when I have made a lot of money, I'm 
going to build a big ship, with room in it for a thou- 
sand volunteers. They will have to do all the work 
of navigating that boat around the world, or they'll 
stay at home. I believe that they'll work the boat 
around the world, for I know that Adventure is not 
dead. I know Adventure is not dead because I 
have had a long and intimate correspondence with 

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Finding One's Way About 

" But," our friends objected, " how dare you go to 
sea without a navigator on board ? You're not a navi- 
gator, are you ? " 

I had to confess that I was not a navigator, that I 
had never looked through a sextant in my life, and 
that I doubted if I could tell a sextant from a nautical 
almanac. And when they asked if Roscoe was a navi- 
gator, I shook my head. Roscoe resented this. He 
had glanced at the " Epitome," bought for our voyage, 
knew how to use logarithm tables, had seen a sextant at 
some time, and, what of this and of his seafaring ances- 
try, he concluded that he did know navigation. But 
Roscoe was wrong, I still insist. When a young boy 
he came from Maine to California by way of the Isth- 
mus of Panama, and that was the only time in his life 
that he was out of sight of land. He had never gone 
to a school of navigation, nor passed an examination in 
the same ; nor had he sailed the deep sea and learned 
the art from some other navigator. He was a San Fran- 
cisco Bay yachtsman, where land is always only several 
miles away and the art of navigation is never employed. 

So the Snark started on her long voyage without a 
navigator. We beat through the Golden Gate on April 
23, and headed for the Hawaiian Islands, twenty-one 
hundred sea-miles away as the gull flies. And the 
outcome was our justification. We arrived. And we 
arrived, furthermore, without any trouble, as you shall 


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see ; that is, without any trouble to amount to any- 
thing. To begin with, Roscoe tackled the navigating. 
He had the theory all right, but it was the first time 
he had ever applied it, as was evidenced by the erratic 
behavior of the Snark. Not but what the Snark was per- 

Doing her Trick. 

fectly steady on the sea; the pranks she cut were on 
the chart. On a day with a light breeze she would 
make a jump on the chart that advertised "a wet sail 
and a flowing sheet," and on a day when she just raced 
over the ocean, she scarcely changed her position on 
the chart. Now when one's boat has logged six knots 
for twenty-four consecutive hours, it is incontestable that 
she has covered one hundred and forty-four miles of 

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ocean. The ocean was all right, and so was the patent 
log ; as for speed, one saw it with his own eyes. There- 
fore, the thing that was not all right was the figuring 
that refused to boost the Snark along over the chart. 
Not that this happened every day, but that it did happen. 
And it was perfectly proper and no more than was to 
be expected from a first attempt at applying a theory. 

The acquisition of the knowledge of navigation has 
a strange eflFect on the minds of men. The average 
navigator speaks of navigation with deep respect. To 
the layman navigation is a deep and awful mystery, which 
feeling has been generated in him by the deep and awful 
respect for navigation that the layman has seen displayed 
by navigators. I have known frank, ingenuous, and mod- 
est young men, open as the day, to learn navigation 
and at once betray secretiveness, reserve, and self-im- 
portance, as if they had achieved some tremendous in- 
tellectual attainment. The average navigator impresses 
the layman as a priest of some holy rite. With bated 
breath, the amateur yachtsman navigator invites one in 
to look at his chronometer. And so it was that our 
friends suflFered such apprehension at our sailing with- 
out a navigator. 

During the building of the Snarky Roscoe and I had 
an agreement, something like this: "I'll furnish the 
books and instruments," I said, " and do you study up 
navigation now. I'll be too busy to do any studying. 
Then, when we get to sea, you can teach me what you 
have learned." Roscoe was delighted. Furthermore, 
Roscoe was as frank and ingenuous and modest as 
the young men I have described. But when we got 
out to sea and he began to practise the holy rite, 
while I looked on admiringly, a change, subtle and dis- 

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tinctive, marked his bearing. When he shot the sun 
at noon, the glow of achievement wrapped him in lam- 
bent flame. When he went below, figured out his ob- 
servation, and then returned on deck and announced 
our latitude and longitude, there was an authoritative 
ring in his voice that was new to all of us. But that 
was not the worst of it. He became filled with incom- 
municable information. And the more he discovered 
the reasons for the erratic jumps of the Snark over the 
chart, and the less the Snark jumped, the more in- 
communicable and holy and awful became his informa- 
tion. My mild suggestions that it was about time that 
I began to learn, met with no hearty response, with no 
oflFers on his part to help me. He displayed not the 
slightest intention of living up to our agreement. 

Now this was not Roscoe's fault ; he could not help 
it. He had merely gone the way of all the men who 
learned navigation before him. By an understandable 
and forgivable confusion of values, plus a loss of orien- 
tation, he felt weighted by responsibility, and experi- 
enced the possession of -power that was like unto that 
of a god. All his life Roscoe had lived on land, and 
therefore in sight of land. Being constantly in sight of 
land, with landmarks to guide him, he had managed, 
with occasional difficulties, to steer his body around and 
about the earth. Now he found himself on the sea, 
wide-stretching, bounded only by the eternal circle of 
the sky. This circle looked always the same. There 
were no landmarks. The sun rose to the east and set 
to the west and the stars wheeled through the night. 
But who may look at the sun or the stars and say, 
" My place on the face of the earth at the present 
moment is four and three-quarter miles to the west 

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of Jones' Cash Store of Smithersville"? or "I know 
where I am now, for the Little Dipper informs me that 
Boston is three miles away on the second turning to the 
right'*? And yet that was precisely what Roscoe did. 
That he was astounded by the achievement, is putting 
it mildly. He stood in reverential awe of himself; he 
had performed a miraculous feat. The act of finding 
himself on the face of the waters became a rite, and 
he felt himself a superior being to the rest of us who 
knew not this rite and were dependent on him for be- 
ing shepherded across the heaving and limitless waste, 
the briny highroad that connects the continents and 
whereon there are no mile-stones. So, with the sextant 
he made obeisance to the sun-god, he consulted ancient 
tomes and tables of magic characterls, muttered prayers 
in a strange tongue that sounded like IndexerrorparallaX" 
refraction^ made cabalistic signs on paper, added and 
carried one, and then, on a piece of holy script called 
the Grail — I mean, the Chart — he placed his finger 
on a certain space conspicuous for its blankness and 
said, "Here we are." When we looked at the blank 
space and asked, "And where is that ? " he answered in 
the cipher-code of the higher priesthood, "31 — 15 — 47 
north, 133 — 5 — 30 west." And we said "Oh," and 
felt mighty small. 

So I aver, it was not Roscoe's fault. He was like 
unto a god, and he carried us in the hollow of his hand 
across the blank spaces on the chart. I experienced a 
great respect for Roscoe ; this respect grew so pro- 
found that had he commanded, " Kneel down and wor- 
ship me," I know that I should have flopped down on 
the deck and yammered. But, one day, there came a 
still small thought to me that said: "This is not a 

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god ; this is Roscoe, a mere man like myself. What 
he has done, I can do. Who taught him ? Himself. 
Go you and do likewise — be your own teacher." 
And right there Roscoe crashed, and he was high priest 
of the Snark no longer. I invaded the sanctuary and 
demanded the ancient tomes and magic tables, also the 
prayer-wheel — the sextant, I mean. 

And now, in simple language, I shall describe how 
I taught myself navigation. One whole afternoon 
I sat in the cockpit, steering with one hand and 
studying logarithms with the other. Two after- 
noons, two hours each, I studied the general theory 
of navigation and the particular process of taking a 
meridian altitude. Then I took the sextant, worked 
out the index error, and shot the sun. The figuring 
from the data of this observation was child's play. 
In the "Epitome" and the "Nautical Almanac" 
were scores of cunning tables, all worked out by 
mathematicians and astronomers. It was like using 
interest tables and lightning-calculator tables such as 
you all know. The mystery was mystery no longer. 
I put my finger on the chart and announced that 
that was where we were. I was right, too, or at least 
I was as right as Roscoe, who selected a spot a quarter 
of a mile away from mine. Even he was willing 
to split the distance with me. I had exploded the 
mystery ; and yet, such was the miracle of it, I was 
conscious of new power in me, and I felt the thrill 
and tickle of pride. And when Martin asked me, 
in the same humble and respectful way I had previ- 
ously asked Roscoe, as to where we were, it was with 
exaltation and spiritual chest-throwing that I answered 
in the cipher-code of the higher priesthood and heard 

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Martin's self-abasing and worshipful " Oh." As for 
Charmian, I felt that in a new way I had proved my 
right to her ; and I was aware of another feeling, 
namely, that she was a most fortunate woman to have 
a man like me. 

I couldn't help it. I tell it as a vindication of 
Roscoe and all the other navigators. The poison of 

power was working in me. 
1 was not as other men — 
most other men ; I knew 
what they did not know, — 
the mystery of the heavens, 
that pointed out the way 
across the deep. And the 
taste of power I had received 
drove me on. I steered at 
the wheel long hours with one 
hand, and studied mystery 
with the other. By the end 
of the week, teaching myself, 
I was able to do divers things. 
For instance, I shot the North 
Star, at night, of course ; got 
its altitude, corrected for in- 
dex error, dip, etc., and found our latitude. And 
this latitude agreed with the latitude of the previous 
noon corrected by dead reckoning up to that mo- 
ment. Proud ? Well, I was even prouder with 
my next miracle. I was going to turn in at nine 
o'clock. I worked out the problem, self-instructed, 
and learned what star of the first magnitude would be 
passing the meridian around half-past eight. This 
star proved to be Alpha Cru'cis. I had never heard 

Land Ho! 

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of the star before. I looked it up on the star map. 
It was one of the stars of the Southern Cross. What! 
thought I ; have we been sailing with the Southern 
Cross in the sky of nights and never known it? 
Dolts that we are ! Gudgeons and moles ! I couldn't 
believe it. I went over the problem again, and veri- 
fied it. Charmian had the wheel from eight till ten 
that evening. I told her to keep her eyes open and 
look due south for the Southern Cross. And when the 
stars came out, there shone the Southern Cross low 
on the horizon. Proud? No medicine man nor 
high priest was ever prouder. Furthermore, with the 
prayer-wheel I shot Alpha Crucis and from its alti- 
tude worked out our latitude. And still further- 
more, I shot the North Star, too, and it agreed 
with what had been told me by the Southern Cross. 
Proud? Why, the language of the stars was mine, 
and I listened and heard them telling me my way 
over the deep. 

Proud? I was a worker of miracles. I forgot how 
easily I had taught myself from the printed page. I 
forgot that all the work (and a tremendous work, too) 
had been done by the master-minds before me, the 
astronomers and mathematicians, who had discovered 
and elaborated the whole science of navigation and 
made the tables in the " Epitome." I remembered 
only the everlasting miracle of it — that I had listened 
to the voices of the stars and been told my place upon 
the highway of the sea. Charmian did not know, 
Martin did not know, Tochigi, the cabin-boy, did not 
know. But I told them. I was God's messenger. 
I stood between them and infinity. I translated the 
high celestial speech into terms of their ordinary 

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understanding. We were heaven-directed, and it was 
I whp could read the sign-post of the sky ! — I ! I ! 

And now, in a cooler moment, I hasten to blab 
the whole simplicity of it, to blab on Roscoe and the 
other navigators and the rest of the priesthood, all 
for fear that I may become even as they, secretive, 
immodest, and inflated with self-esteem. And I want 
to say this now : any young fellow with ordinary gray 
matter, ordinary education, and with the slightest trace 
of the student-mind, can get the books, and charts, 
and instruments and teach himself navigation. Now I 
must not be misunderstood. Seamanship is an entirely 
different matter. It is not le^irned in a day, nor in 
many days ; it requires years. Also, navigating by 
dead reckoning requires long study and practice. But 
navigating by observations of the sun, moon, and 
stars, thanks to the astronomers and mathematicians, 
is child's play. Any average young fellow can teach 
himself in a week. And yet again I must not be mis- 
understood. I do not mean to say that at the end of a 
week a young fellow could take charge of a fifteen-thou- 
sand-ton steamer, driving twenty knots an hour through 
the brine, racing from land to land, fair weather and 
foul, clear sky or cloudy, steering by degrees on 
the compass card and making landfalls with most 
amazing precision. But what I do mean is just this : 
the average young fellow I have described can get into 
a staunch sail-boat and put out across the ocean, with- 
out knowing anything about navigation, and at the end 
of the week he will know enough to know where he 
is on the chart. He will be able to take a meridian 
observation with fair accuracy, and from that observa- 
tion, with ten minutes of figuring, work out his lati- 

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tude and longitude. And, carrying neither freight nor 
passengers, being under no press to reach his destina- 
tion, he can jog comfortably along, and if at any time 
he doubts his own navigation and fears an imminent 
landfall, he can heave to all night and proceed in the 

Joshua Slocum sailed around the world a few years 

Our First Guny. 

ago in a thirty-seven-foot boat all by himself. I shall 
never forget, in his narrative of the voyage, where he 
heartily indorsed the idea of young men, in similar 
small boats, making similar voyage. I promptly in- 
dorsed his idea, and so heartily that I took my wife 
along. While it certainly makes a Cook's tour look 
like thirty cents, on top of that, and on top of the fun 
and pleasure, it is a splendid education for a young 
man — oh, not a mere education in the things of the 

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world outside, of lands, and peoples, and climates, but 
an education in the world inside, an education in one's 
self, a chance to learn one's own self, to get on speak- 
ing terms with one's soul. Then there is the training 
and the disciplining of it. First, naturally, the young 
fellow will learn his limitations; and next, inevitably, 
he will proceed to press back those limitations. And 
he cannot escape returning from such a voyage a bigger 
and better man. And as for sport, it is a king's sport, 
taking one's self around the world, doing it with one's 
own hands, depending on no one but one's self, and at 
the end, back at the starting-point, contemplating with 
inner vision the planet rushing through space, and say- 
ing, " I did it; with my own hands I did it. I went 
clear around that whirling sphere, and I can travel 
alone, without any nurse of a sea-captain to guide my 
steps across the seas. I may not fly to other stars, but 
of this star^I myself am master." 

As I write these lines I lift my eyes and look sea- 
ward. I am on the beach of Waikiki on the island of 
Oahu. Far, in the azure sky, the trade-wind clouds 
drift low over the blue-green turquoise of the deep sea. 
Nearer, the sea is emerald and light olive-green. Then 
comes the reef, where the water is all slaty purple 
flecked with red. Still nearer are brighter greens and 
tans, lying in alternate stripes and showing where sand- 
beds lie between the living coral banks. Through and 
over and out of these wonderful colors tumbles and 
thunders a magnificent surf. As I say, I lift my eyes 
to all this, and through the white crest of a breaker 
suddenly appears a dark figure, erect, a man-fish or a 
sea-god, on the very forward face of the crest where 
the top falls over and down, driving in toward shore. 

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buried to his loins in smoking spray, caught up by the 
sea and flung landward, bodily, a quarter of a mile. It 
is a Kanaka on a surf-board. And I know that when 
I have finished these lines I shall be out in that riot of 
color and pounding surf, trying to bit those breakers 
even as he, and failing as he never failed, but living life 
as the best of us may live it. And the picture of that 
colored sea and that flying sea-god Kanaka becomes 
another reason for the young man to go west, and 
farther west, beyond the Baths of Sunset, and still west 
till he arrives home again. 

But to return. Please do not think that I already 
know it all. I know only the rudiments of navigation. 
There is a vast deal yet for me to learn. On the 
Snark there is a score of fascinating books on naviga- 
tion waiting for me. There is the danger-angle of 
Lecky, there is the line of Sumner, which, when you 
know least of all where you are, shows most conclu- 
sively where you are, and where you are not. There 
are dozens and dozens of methods of finding one's lo- 
cation on the deep, and one can work years before he 
masters it all in all its fineness. 

Even in the little we did learn there were slips that ac- 
counted for the apparently antic behavior of the Snark. 
On Thursday, May 16, for instance, the trade wind 
failed us. During the twenty-four hours that ended 
Friday at noon, by dead reckoning we had not sailed 
twenty miles. Yet here are our positions, at noon, for 
the two days, worked out from our observations : 



57' 9" N 


40' 30" W 



15' 33" N 


12' W 

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The difference between the two positions was some- 
thing like eighty miles. Yet we knew we had 
not travelled twenty miles. Now our figuring was all 
right. We went over it several times. What was 
wrong was the observations we had taken. To take a 
correct observation requires practice and skill, and 
especially so on a small craft like the Snark. The vio- 
lently moving boat and the closeness of the observer's 
eye to the surface of the water are to blame. A big 
wave that lifts up a mile off is liable to steal the hori- 
zon away. 

But in our particular case there was another perturb- 
ing factor. The sun, in its annual march north through 
the heavens, was increasing its declination. On the 
19th parallel of north latitude in the middle of May 
the sun is nearly overhead. The angle of arc was be- 
tween eighty-eight and eighty-nine degrees. Had it 
been ninety degrees it would have been straight over- 
head. It was on another day that we learned a few 
things about taking the altitude of the almost perpen- 
dicular sun. Roscoe started in drawing the sun down 
to the eastern horizon, and he stayed by that point of 
the compass despite the fact that the sun would pass 
the meridian to the south. I, on the other hand, 
started in to draw the sun down to southeast and 
strayed away to the southwest. You see, we were 
teaching ourselves. As a result, at twenty-five minutes 
past twelve by the ship's time, I called twelve o'clock 
by the sun. Now this signified that we had changed 
our location on the face of the world by twenty-five 
minutes, which was equal to something like six degrees 
of longitude, or three hundred and fifty miles. This 
showed the Snark had travelled fifteen knots per hour 

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for twenty-four consecutive hours — and we had never 
noticed it! It was absurd and grotesque. But Ros- 
coe, still looking east, averred that it was not yet 
twelve o'clock. He was bent on giving us a twenty- 
knot clip. Then we began to train our sextants rather ' 
wildly all around the horizon, and wherever we looked, 
there was the sun, puzzlingly close to the sky-line, 

A Big Wave that is liable to steal the Horizon Away. 

sometimes above it and sometimes below it. In one 
direction the sun was proclaiming morning, in another 
direction it was proclaiming afternoon. The sun was 
all right — we knew that ; therefore we were all wrong. 
And the rest of the afternoon we spent in the cockpit 
reading up the matter in the books and finding out 
what was wrong. We missed the observation that 
day, but we didn't the next. We had learned. 

And we learned well, better than for a while we 
thought we had. At the beginning of the second dog- 

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watch one evening, Charmian and I sat down on the 
forecastle-head for a rubber of cribbage. Chancing to 
glance ahead, I saw cloud-capped mountains rising 
from the sea. We were rejoiced at the sight of land, 
but I was in despair over our navigation. I thought 
we had learned something, yet our position at noon, 
plus what we had run since, did not put us within a 
hundred miles of land. But there was the land, fad- 
ing away before our eyes in the fires of sunset. The 
land was all right. There was no disputing it. There- 
fore our navigation was all wrong. But it wasn't. 
That land we saw was the summit of Haleakala, the 
House of the Sun, the greatest extinct volcano in the 
world. It towered ten thousand feet above the sea, and 
it was all of a hundred miles away. We sailed all night 
at a seven-knot clip, and in the morning the House 
of the Sun was still before us, and it took a few more 
hours of sailing to bring it abreast of us. "That is- 
land is Maui," we said, verifying by the chart. " That 
next island sticking out is Molokai, where the lepers 
are. And the island next to that is Oahu. There is 
Makapuu Head now. We'll be in Honolulu to-mor- 
row. Our navigation is all right." 

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The First Landfall 

" It will not be so monotonous at sea," I promised 
my fellow-voyagers on the Snark. " The sea is filled 
with life. It is so populous that every day something 
new is happening. Almost as soon as we pass through 
the Golden Gate and head south we'll pick up with the 
flying fish. We'll be having them fried for breakfast. 
We'll be catching bonita and dolphin, and spearing 
porpoises from the bowsprit. And then there are the 
sharks — sharks without end.'* 

We passed through the Golden Gate and headed 
south. We dropped the mountains of California 
beneath the horizon, and daily the sun grew warmer. 
But there were no flying fish, no bonita and dolphin. 
The ocean was bereft of life. Never had I sailed on 
so forsaken a sea. Always, before, in the same lati- 
tudes, had I encountered flying fish. 

" Never mind," I said. " Wait till we get off the 
coast of Southern California. Then we'll pick up the 
flying fish." 

We came abreast of Southern California, abreast of 
the Peninsula of Lower California, abreast of the coast 
of Mexico ; and there were no flying fish. Nor was 
there anything else. No life moved. As the days 
went by the absence of life became almost uncanny. 

" Never mind," I said. " When we do pick up 
with the flying fish we'll pick up with everything else. 
The flying fish is the staff of life for all the other 


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breeds. Everything will come in a bunch when we 
find the flying fish." 

When I should have headed the Snark southwest for 
Hawaii, I still held her south. I was going to find 
those flying fish. Finally the time came when, if I 
wanted to go to Honolulu, I should have headed the 
Snark due west. Instead of which I kept her south. 

In the Heel of the North-east Trades. 

Not until latitude 19° did we encounter the first flying 
fish. He was very much alone. I saw him. Five 
other pairs of eager eyes scanned the sea all day, but 
never saw another. So sparse were the flying fish that 
nearly a week more elapsed before the last one on board 
saw his first flying fish. As for the dolphin, bonita, 
porpoise, and all the other hordes of life — there 
weren't any. 

Not even a shark broke surface with his ominous 
dorsal fin. Bert took a dip daily under the bowsprit, 
hanging on to the stays and dragging his body through 

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the water. And daily he canvassed the project of 
letting go and having a decent swim. I did my best 
to dissuade him. But with him I had lost all standing 
as an authority on sea life. 

" If there are sharks," he demanded, " why don't 
they show up ? " 

I assured nim that if he really did let go and have a 
swim the sharks would promptly appear. This was a 
bluff on my part. I didn't believe it. It lasted as 
a deterrent for two days. The third day the wind fell 
calm, and it was pretty hot. The Snark was moving 
a knot an hour. Bert dropped down under the bow- 
sprit and let go. And now behold the perversity of 
things. We had sailed across two thousand miles and 
more of ocean and had met with no sharks. Within 
five minutes after Bert finished his swim, the fin of a 
shark was cutting the surface in circles around the 

There was something wrong about that shark. It 
bothered me. It had no right to be there in that 
deserted ocean. The more I thought about it, the 
more incomprehensible it became. But two hours 
later we sighted land and the mystery was cleared up. 
He had come to us from the land, and not from the 
uninhabited deep. He had presaged the landfall. He 
was the messenger of the land. 

Twenty-seven days out from San Francisco we ar- 
rived at the island of Oahu, Territory of Hawaii. In 
the early morning we drifted around Diamond Head 
into full view of Honolulu ; and then the ocean burst 
suddenly into life. Flying fish cleaved the air in glit- 
tering squadrons. In five minutes we saw more of 
them than during the whole voyage. Other fish, large 

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ones, of various sorts, leaped into the air. There 
was life, every where, on sea and shore. We could see 
the masts and funnels of the shipping in the harbor, 
the hotels and bathers along the beach at Waikiki, the 
smoke rising from the dwelling-houses high up on the 
volcanic slopes of the Punch Bowl and Tantalus. 
The custom-house tug was racing toward us and a 

The Snark at her First Anchorage. 

big school of porpoises got under our bow and began 
cutting the most ridiculous capers. The port doctor's 
launch came charging out at us, and a big sea turtle 
broke the surface with his back and took a look at us. 
Never was there such a burgeoning of life. Strange, 
faces were on our decks, strange voices were speaking, 
and copies of that very morning's newspaper, with 
cable reports from all the world, were thrust before our 
eyes. Incidentally, we read that the Snark and all 
hands had been lost at sea, and that she had been a 
very unseaworthy craft anyway. And while we read 

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this information a wireless message was being received 
by the congressional party on the summit of Haleakala 
announcing the safe arrival of the Snark. 

It was the Snark' s first landfall — and such a land- 
fall ! For twenty-seven days we had been on the de- 
serted deep, and it was pretty hard to realize that there 

The Wharf that wouldn't stand Still. 

was so much life in the world. We were made dizzy 
by it. We could not take it all in at once. We were 
like awakened Rip Van Winkles, and it seemed to us 
that we were dreaming. On one side the azure sea 
lapped across the horizon into the azure sky ; on the 
other side . the sea lifted itself into great breakers of 
emerald that fell in a snowy smother upon a white 
coral beach. Beyond the beach, green plantations of 
sugar-cane undulated gently upward to steeper slopes. 

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which, in turn, became jagged volcanic crests, drenched 
with tropic showers and capped by stupendous masses 
of trade-wind clouds. At any rate, it was a most 
beautiful dream. The ^nark turned and headed 
directly in toward the emerald surf, till it lifted and 
thundered on either hand ; and on either hand, scarce 
a biscuit-toss away, the reef showed its long teeth, 
pale green and menacing. 

Abruptly the land itself, in a riot of olive-greens of 
a thousand hues, reached out its arms and folded the 
Snark in. There was no perilous passage through the 
reef, no emerald surf and azure sea — nothing but a 
warm soft land, a motionless lagoon, and tiny beaches 
on which swam dark-skinned tropic children. The 
sea had disappeared. The Snark' s anchor rumbled the 
chain through the hawse-pipe, and we lay without 
movement on a " lineless, level floor." It was all so 
beautiful and strange that we could not accept it as 
real. On the chart this place was called Pearl Harbor, 
but we called it Dream Harbor. 

A launch came off to us ; in it were members of the 
Hawaiian Yacht Club, come to greet us and make us 
welcome, with true Hawaiian hospitality, to all they 
had. They were ordinary men, flesh and blood and 
all the rest ; but they did not tend to break our dream- 
ing. Our last memories of men were of United States 
marshals and of panicky little merchants with rusty 
dollars for souls, who, in a reeking atmosphere of soot 
and coal-dust, laid grimy hands upon the Snark and 
held her back from her world adventure. But these 
men who came to meet us were clean men. A healthy 
tan was on their cheeks, and their eyes were not daz- 
zled and be-spectacled from gazing overmuch at 

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glittering dollar-heaps. No, they merely verified the 
dream. They clinched it with their unsmirched souls. 

So we went ashore with them across a level flashing 
sea to the wonderful green land. We landed on a tiny 
wharf, and the dream became more insistent ; for know 
that for twenty-seven days we had been rocking across 
the ocean on the tiny Snark. Not once in all those 
twenty-seven days had we known a moment's rest, a 
moment's cessation from movement. This ceaseless 
movement had become ingrained. Body and brain 
we had rocked and rolled so long that when we climbed 
out on the tiny wharf we kept on rocking and roll- 
ing. This, naturally, we attributed to the wharf It 
was projected psychology. I spraddled along the 
wharf and nearly fell into the water. I glanced at 
Charmian, and the way she walked made me sad. The 
wharf had all the seeming of a ship's deck. It lifted, 
tilted, heaved, and sank ; and since there were no hand- 
rails on it, it kept Charmian and me busy avoiding fall- 
ing in. I never saw such a preposterous little wharf. 
Whenever I watched it closely, it refused to roll ; but 
as soon as I took my attention off from it, away it 
went, just like the Snark. Once, I caught it in the 
act, just as it upended, and I looked down the length 
of it for two hundred feet, and for all the world it was 
like the deck of a ship ducking into a huge head-sea. 

At last, however, supported by our hosts, we nego- 
tiated the wharf and gained the land. But the land 
was no better. The very first thing it did was to tilt 
up on one side, and far as the eye could see I watched 
it tilt, clear to its jagged, volcanic backbone, and I saw 
the clouds above tilt, too. This was no stable, firm- 
founded land, else it would not cut such capers. It 

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was like all the rest of our landfall, unreal. It was a 
dream. At any moment, like shifting vapor, it might 
dissolve away. The thought entered my head that 
perhaps it was my fault, that my head was swimming 
or that something I had eaten had disagreed with me. 
But I glanced at Charmian and her sad walk, and even as 
I glanced I saw her stagger and bump into the yachts- 
man by whose side she walked. I spoke to her, and 
she complained about the antic behavior of the land. 

We walked across a spacious, wonderful lawn and 
down an avenue of royal palms, and across more won- 
derful lawn in the gracious shade of stately trees. The 
air was filled with the songs of birds and was heavy 
with rich warm fragrances — wafture from great lilies, 
and blazing blossoms of hibiscus, and other strange 
gorgeous tropic flowers. The dream was becoming 
almost impossibly beautiful to us who for so long had 
seen naught but the restless, salty sea. Charmian 
reached out her hand and clung to me — for support 
against the ineflTable beauty of it, thought I. But no. 
As I supported her I braced my legs, while the flowers 
and lawns reeled and swung around me. It was like 
an earthquake, only it quickly passed without doing 
any harm. It was fairly difficult to catch the land 
playing these tricks. As long as I kept my mind on 
It, nothing happened. But as soon as my attention 
was distracted, away it went, the whole panorama, 
swinging and heaving and tilting at all sorts of angles. 
Once, however, I turned my head suddenly and caught 
that stately line of royal palms swinging in a great arc 
across the sky. But it stopped, just as soon as I 
caught it, and became a placid dream again. 

Next we came to a house of coolness, with great 

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sweeping veranda, where lotus-eaters might dwell. 
Windows and doors were wide open to the breeze, and 
the songs and fragrances blew lazily in and out. The 
walls were hung with tapa-cloths. Couches with grass- 
woven covers invited everywhere, and there was a grand 
piano, that played, I was sure, nothing more exciting 
than lullabies. Servants — Japanese maids in native 
costume — drifted around and about, noiselessly, like 
butterflies. Everything was preternaturally cool. Here 
was no blazing down of a tropic sun upon an unshrink- 
ing sea. It was too good to be true. But it was not real. 
It was a dream-dwelling. I knew, for I turned sud- 
denly and caught the grand piano cavorting in a 
spacious corner of the room. I did not say anything, 
for just then we were being received by a gracious 
woman, a beautiful Madonna, clad in flowing white 
and shod with sandals, who greeted us as though she 
had known us always. 

We sat at table on the lotus-eating veranda, served 
by the butterfly maids, and ate strange foods and par- 
took of a nectar called poi. But the dream threatened 
to dissolve. It shimmered and trembled like an iri- 
descent bubble about to break. I was just glancing 
out at the green grass and stately trees and blossoms 
of hibiscus, when suddenly I felt the table move. 
The table, and the Madonna across from me, and the 
veranda of the lotus-eaters, the scarlet hibiscus, the 
greensward and the trees — all lifted and tilted before 
my eyes, and heaved and sank down into the trough 
of a monstrous sea. I gripped my chair convulsively 
and held on. I had a feeling that I was holding on 
to the dream as well as the chair. I should not have 
been surprised had the sea rushed in and drowned all 

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that fairyland and had I found myself at the wheel of 
the Snark just looking up casually from the study of 
logarithms. But the dream persisted. I looked covertly 
at the Madonna and her husband. They evidenced no 
perturbation. The dishes had not moved upon the 
table. The hibiscus and trees and grass were still 
there. Nothing had changed. I partook of more 
nectar, and the dream was more real than ever. 

"Will you have some iced tea?" asked the Madonna; 
and then her side of the table sank down gently and I 
said yes to her at an angle of forty-five degrees. 

" Speaking of sharks," said her husband, " up at 
Niihau there was a man — " And at that moment the 
table lifted and heaved, and I gazed upward at him at 
an angle of forty -five degrees. 

So the luncheon went on, and I was glad that I did 
not have to bear the affliction of watching Charmian 
walk. Suddenly, however, a mysterious word of fear 
broke from the lips of the lotus-eaters. " Ah, ah," 
thought I, " now the dream goes glimmering." I 
clutched the chair desperately, resolved to drag back to 
the reality of the Snark some tangible vestige of this 
lotus land. I felt the whole dream lurching and pulling 
to be gone. Just then the mysterious word of fear 
was repeated. It sounded like Reporters. I looked 
and saw three of them coming across the lawn. Oh, 
blessed reporters ! Then the dream was indisputably 
real after all. I glanced out across the shining water 
and saw the Snark at anchor, and I remembered that 
I had sailed in her from San Francisco to Hawaii, and 
that this was Pearl Harbor, and that even then I was 
acknowledging introductions and saying, in reply to 
the first question, " Yes, we had delightful weather all 
the way down." 

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A Royal Sport 

That is what it is, a royal sport for the natural kings 
of earth. The grass grows right down to the water at 
Waikiki Beach, and within fifty feet of the everlasting 
sea. The trees also grow down to the salty edge of 
things, and one sits in their shade and looks seaward 
at a majestic surf thundering in on the beach to one's 
very feet. Half a mile out, where is the reef, the 
white-headed combers thrust suddenly skyward out of 
the placid turquoise-blue and come rolling in to shore. 
One after another they come, a mile long, with smok- 
ing crests, the white battalions of the infinite army of 
the sea. And one sits and listens to the perpetual 
roar, and watches the unending procession, and feels 
tiny and fragile before this tremendous force express- 
ing itself in fury and foam and sound. Indeed, 
one feels microscopically small, and the thought that 
one may wrestle with this sea raises in one's imagination 
a thrill of apprehension, almost of fear. Why, they . 
are a mile long, these bull-mouthed monsters, and they 
weigh a thousand tons, and they charge in to shore 
faster than a man can run. What chance? No chance 
at all, is the verdict of the shrinking ego ; and one sits, 
and looks, and listens, and thinks the grass and the 
shade are a pretty good place in which to be. 

And suddenly, out there where a big smoker lifts 
skyward, rising like a sea-god from out of the welter 
of spume and churning white, on the giddy, toppling, 


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overhanging and downfalling, precarious crest appears 
the dark head of a man. Swiftly he rises through the 
rushing white. His black shoulders, his chest, his loins, 
his limbs — all is abruptly projected on one's vision. 
Where but the moment before was only the wide deso- 
lation and invincible roar, is now a man, erect, full- 
statured, not struggling frantically in that wild 

Coming in on a Wave. 

movement, not buried and crushed and buffeted by 
those mighty monsters, but standing above them all, 
calm and superb, poised on the giddy summit, his feet 
buried in the churning foam, the salt smoke rising to 
his knees, and all the rest of him in the free air and 
flashing sunlight, and he is flying through the air, 
flying forward, flying fast as the surge on which he 
stands. He is a Mercury — a brown Mercury. His 
heels are winged, and in them is the swiftness of the 
sea. In truth, from out of the sea he has leaped upon 
the back of the sea, and he is riding the sea that roars 

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and bellows and cannot shake him from its back. But 
no frantic outreaching and balancing is his. He is 
impassive, motionless as a statue carved suddenly by 
some miracle out of the sea's depth from which he rose. 
And straight on toward shore he flies on his winged heels 

Leviathan and the Snark. 

and the white crest of the breaker. There is a wild 
burst of foam, a long tumultuous rushing sound as the 
breaker falls futile and spent on the beach at your feet; 
and there, at your feet steps calmly ashore a Kanaka, 
burnt golden and brown by the tropic sun. Several 
minutes ago he was a speck a quarter of a mile away. 
He has " bitted the bull-mouthed breaker" and ridden it 
in, and the pride in the feat shows in the carriage of his 
magnificent body as he glances for a moment carelessly 

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at you who sit in the shade of the shore. He is a 
Kanaka — and more, he is a man, a member of the 
kingly species that has mastered matter and the brutes 
and lorded it over creation. 

And one sits and thinks of Tristram's last wrestle 
with the sea on that fatal morning ; and one thinks 
further, to the fact that that Kanaka has done what 
Tristram never did, and that he knows a joy of the sea 
that Tristram never knew. And still further one thinks. 
It is all very well, sitting here in cool shade of the 
beach, but you are a man, one of the kingly species, 
and what that Kanaka can do, you can do yourself. Go to. 
Strip off your clothes that are a nuisance in this mellow 
clime. Get in and wrestle with the sea ; wing your 
heels with the skill and power that reside in you ; bit 
the sea's breakers, master them, and ride upon their 
backs as a king should. 

And that is how it came about that I tackled surf- 
riding. And now that I have tackled it, more than 
ever do I hold it to be a royal sport. But first let me 
explain the physics of it. A wave is a communicated 
agitation. The water that composes the body of a wave 
does not move. If it did, when a stone is thrown into 
a pond and the ripples spread away in an ever widening 
circle, there would appear at the centre an ever increas- 
ing hole. No, the water that composes the body of a 
wave is stationary. Thus, you^ may watch a particular 
portion of the ocean's surface and you will see the same 
water rise and fall a thousand times to the agitation 
communicated by a thousand successive waves. Now 
imagine this communicated agitation moving shoreward. 
As the bottom shoals, the lower portion of the wave 
strikes land first and is stopped. But water is fluid. 

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and the upper portion has not struck anything, where- 
fore it keeps on communicating its agitation, keeps on 
going. And when the top of the wave keeps on 
going, while the bottom of it lags behind, something 
is bound to happen. 
The bottom of the 
wave drops out from 
under and the top of 
the wave falls over, 
forward, and down, 
curling and cresting 
and roaring as it 
does so. It is the 
bottom of a wave 
striking against the 
top of the land that 
is the cause of all 

But the trans- 
formation from a 
smooth undulation 
to a breaker is not 
abrupt except where 
the bottom shoals 
abruptly. Say the 
bottom shoals gradually for from quarter of a mile to 
a mile, then an equal distance will be occupied by the 
transformation. Such a bottom is that off the beach 
of Waikiki, and it produces a splendid surf-riding surf. 
One leaps upon the back of a breaker just as it begins 
to break, and stays on it as it continues to break all 
the way in to shore. 

And now to the particular physics of surf-riding. 

Good Morning. 

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Get out on a flat board, six feet long, two feet wide, 
and roughly oval in shape. Lie down upon it like a 
small boy on a coaster and paddle with your hands 
out to deep water, where the waves begin to crest. Lie 
out there quietly on the board. Sea after sea breaks 
before, behind, and under and over you, and rushes in 
to shore, leaving you behind. When a wave crests, it 
gets steeper. Imagine yourself, on your board, on the 
face of that steep slope. If it stood still, you would 
slide down just as a boy slides down a hill on his 
coaster. " But," you object, " the wave doesn't stand 
still." Very true, but the water composing the wave 
stands still, and there you have the secret. If ever 
you start sliding down the face of that wave, you'll 
keep on sliding and you'll never reach the bottom. 
Please don't laugh. The face of that wave may be 
only six feet, yet you can slide down it a quarter of a 
mile, or half a mile, and not reach the bottom. For, 
see, since a wave is only a communicated agitation or 
impetus, and since the water that composes a wave is 
changing every instant, new water is rising into the 
wave as fast as the wave travels. You slide down this 
new water, and yet remain in your old position on the 
wave, sliding down the still newer water that is rising 
and forming the wave. You slide precisely as fast as 
the wave travels. If it travels fifteen miles an hour, 
you slide fifteen miles an hour. Between you and 
shore stretches a quarter of mile of water. As the 
wave travels, this water obligingly heaps itself into the 
wave, gravity does the rest, and down you go, sliding 
the whole length of it. If you still cherish the notion, 
while sliding, that the water is moving with you, thrust 
your arms into it and attempt to paddle ; you will find 

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that you have to be remarkably quick to get a stroke, 
for that water is dropping astern just as fast as you are 
rushing ahead. 

And now for another phase of the physics of surf- 
riding. Ail rules have their exceptions. It is true 
that the water in a wave does not travel forward. But 
there is what may be called the send of the sea. The 

Standing up and lying down. 

water in the overtoppling crest does move forward, as 
you will speedily realize if you are slapped in the face 
by it, or if you are caught under it and are pounded 
by one mighty blow down under the surface panting 
and gasping for half a minute. The water in the top 
of a wave rests upon the water in the bottom of the 
wave. But when the bottom of the wave strikes the 
land, it stops, while the top goes on. It no longer has 
the bottom of the wave to hold it up. Where was 
solid water beneath it, is now air, and for the first time 

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it feels the grip of gravity, and down it falls, at the 
same time being torn asunder from the lagging bot- 
tom of the wave and flung forward. And it is be- 
cause of this that riding a surf-board is something 
more than a mere placid sliding down a hill. In truth, 
one is caught up and hurled shoreward as by some 
Titan's hand. 

I deserted the cool shade, put on a swimming suit, 
and got hold of a surf-board. It was too small a board. 
But I didn't know, and nobody told me. I joined 
some little Kanaka boys in shallow water, where the 
breakers were well spent and small — a regular kinder- 
garten school. I watched the little Kanaka boys. 
When a likely-looking breaker came along, they 
flopped upon their stomachs on their boards, kicked 
like mad with their feet, and rode the breaker in to 
the beach. I tried to emulate them. I watched them, 
tried to do everything that they did, and failed utterly. 
The breaker swept past, and I was not on it. I tried 
again and again. I kicked twice as madly as they did, 
and failed. Half a dozen would be around. We 
would all leap on our boards in front of a good 
breaker. Away our feet would churn like the stern- 
wheels of river steamboats, and away the little rascals 
would scoot while I remained in disgrace behind. 

I tried for a solid hour, and not one wave could I 
persuade to boost me shoreward. And then arrived a 
friend, Alexander Hume Ford, a globe trotter by pro- 
fession, bent ever on the pursuit of sensation. And 
he had found it at Waikiki. Heading for Australia, 
he had stopped off for a week to find out if there were 
any thrills in surf-riding, and he had become wedded to 
it. He had been at it every day for a month and could 

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not yet see any symptoms of the fascination lessening 
on him. He spoke with authority. 

" Get off that board," he said. '* Chuck it away at 
once. Look at the way you're trying to ride it. If 
ever the nose of that board hits bottom, you'll be dis- 
embowelled. Here, take my board. It's a man's 

I am always humble when confronted by knowledge. 
Ford knew. He showed me how properly to mount 
his board. Then he waited for a good breaker, gave 
me a shove at the right moment, and started me in. 
Ah, delicious moment when I felt that breaker grip and 
fling me. On I dashed, a hundred and fifty feet, and 
subsided with the breaker on the sand. From that 
moment I was lost. I waded back to Ford with his 
board. It was a large one, several inches thick, and 
weighed all of seventy-five pounds. He gave me 
advice, much of it. He had had no one to teach him, 
and all that he had laboriously learned in several weeks 
he communicated to me in half an hour. I really 
learned by proxy. And inside of half an hour I was 
able to start myself and ride in. I did it time after 
time, and Ford applauded and advised. For instance, 
he told me to get just so far forward on the board 
and no farther. But I must have got some farther, for 
as I came charging in to land, that miserable board 
poked its nose down to bottom, stopped abruptly, and 
turned a somersault, at the same time violently sever- 
ing our relations. I was tossed through the air like a 
chip and buried ignominiously under the downfalling 
breaker. And I realized that if it hadn't been for 
Ford, I'd have been disembowelled. That particular 
risk is part of the sport. Ford says. Maybe he'll have 

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it happen to him before he leaves Waikiki, and then, I 
feel confident, his yearning for sensation will be satis- 
fied for a time. 

When all is said and done, it is my steadfast belief 
that homicide is worse than suicide, especially if, in the 
former case, it is a woman. Ford saved me from be- 
ing a homicide. " Imagine your legs are a rudder," 
he said. "Hold them close together, and steer with 

Beating the Break of the Wave. 

them." A few minutes later I came charging in on a 
comber. As I neared the beach, there, in the water, 
up to her waist, dead in front of me, appeared a 
woman. How was I to stop that comber on whose 
back I was ? It looked like a dead woman. The 
board weighed seventy-five pounds, I weighed a 
hundred and sixty-five. The added weight had a 
velocity of fifteen miles per hour. The board and I 
constituted a projectile. I leave it to the physicists to 
figure out the force of the impact upon that poor, 
tender woman. And then I remembered my guardian 
angel, Ford. "Steer with your legs!" rang through 
my brain. I steered with my legs, I steered sharply, 
abruptly, with all my legs and with all my might. The 
board sheered around broadside on the crest. Many 
things happened simultaneously. The wave gave me a 

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passing buffet, a light tap as the taps of waves go, but 
a tap sufficient to knock me off the board and smash 
me down through the rushing water to bottom, with, 
which I came in violent collision and upon which I was 
rolled over and over. I got my head out for a breath 
of air and then gained my feet. There stood the 
woman before me. I felt like a hero. I had saved her 
life. And she laughed at me. It was not hysteria. 
She had never dreamed of her danger. Anyway, I 
solaced myself, it was not I but Ford that saved her, 
and I didn't have to feel like a hero. And besides, 
that leg-steering was great. In a few minutes more of 
practice I was able to thread my way in and out past 
several bathers and to remain on top my breaker 
instead of going under it. 

" To-morrow," Ford said, " I am going to take you 
out into the blue water." 

I looked seaward where he pointed, and saw the 
great smoking combers that made the breakers I had 
been riding look like ripples. I don't know what I 
might have said had I not recollected just then that I 
was one of a kingly species. So all that I did say was, 
"All right, I'll tackle them to-morrow." 

The water that rolls in on Waikiki Beach is just 
the same as the water that laves the shores of all the 
Hawaiian Islands ; and in ways, especially from the 
swimmer's standpoint, it is wonderful water. It is cool 
enough to be comfortable, while it is warm enough to 
permit a swimmer to stay in all day without experienc- 
ing a chill. Under the sun or the stars, at high noon 
or at midnight, in midwinter or in midsummer, it does 
not matter when, it is always the same temperature — 
not too warm, not too cold, just right. It is wonder- 

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ful water, salt as old ocean itself, pure and crystal-clear. 
When the nature of the water is considered, it is not so 
remarkable after all that the Kanakas are one of the 
most expert of swimming races. 

So it was, next morning, when Ford came along, 
that I plunged into the wonderful water for a swim of 
indeterminate length. Astride of our surf-boards, or, 
rather, flat down upon them on our stomachs, we 
paddled out through the kindergarten where the little 
Kanaka boys were at play. Soon we were out in deep 
water where the big smokers came roaring in. The 
mere struggle with them, facing them and paddling 
seaward over them and through them, was sport 
enough in itself One had to have his wits about him, 
for it was a battle in which mighty blows were struck, 
on one side, and in which cunning was used on the 
other side — a struggle between insensate force and in- 
telligence. I soon learned a bit. When a breaker 
curled over my head, for a swift instant I could see the 
light of day through its emerald body ; then down 
would go my head, and I would clutch the board with 
all my strength. Then would come the blow, and to 
the onlooker on shore I would be blotted out. In 
reality the board and I have passed through the crest 
and emerged in the respite of the other side. I should 
not recommend those smashing blows to an invalid or 
delicate person. There is weight behind them, and the 
impact of the driven water is like a sand-blast. Some- 
times one passes through half a dozen combers in quick 
succession, and it is just about that time that he is 
liable to discover new merits in the stable land and new 
reasons for being on shore. 

Out there in the midst of such a succession of big 

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smoky ones, a third man was added to our party, one 
Freeth. Shaking the water from my eyes as I emerged 
from one wave and peered ahead to see what the next 
one looked like, I saw him tearing in on the back of it, 
standing upright on his board, carelessly poised, a young 
god bronzed with sunburn. We went through the 
wave on the back of which he rode. Ford called to 
him. He turned an airspring from his wave, rescued 
his board from its maw, paddled over to us and joined 

The Wave that Everybody Caught. 

Ford in showing me things. One thing in particular 
I learned from Freeth, namely, how to encounter the 
occasional breaker of exceptional size that rolled in. 
Such breakers were really ferocious, and it was unsafe 
to meet them on top of the board. But Freeth showed 
me, so that whenever I saw one of that caliber rolling 
down on me, I slid off the rear end of the board and 
dropped down beneath the surface, my arms over my head 
and holding the board. Thus, if the wave ripped the 
board out of my hands and tried to strike me with it (a 
common trick of such waves), there would be a cushion 
of water a foot or more in depth, between my head and 
the blow. When the wave passed, I climbed upon 

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the board and paddled on. Many men have been 
terribly injured, I learn, by being struck by their 

The whole method of surf-riding and surf-fighting, 
I learned, is one of non-resistance. Dodge the blow 
that is struck at you. Dive through the wave that is 
trying to slap you in the face. Sink down, feet first, 
deep under the surface, and let the big smoker that is 
trying to smash you go by far overhead. Never be 
rigid. Relax. Yield yourself to the waters that are 
ripping and tearing at you. When the undertow 
catches you and drags you seaward along the bottom, 
don't struggl? against it. If you do, you are liable to be 
drowne4, for it is stronger than you. Yield yourself 
to that vndertow. Swim with it, not against it, and 
you will find the pressure removed. And, swimming 
with it, fooling it so that it does not hold you, swim 
upward at the same time. It will be no trouble at all 
to reach the surface. 

The man who wants to learn surf-riding must be a 
strong swimmer, and he must be used to going under 
the water. After that, fair strength and common-sense 
are all that is required. The force of the big comber is 
rather unexpected. There are mix-ups in which board 
and rider are torn apart and separated by several hun- 
dred feet. The surf-rider must take care of himself 
No matter how many riders swim out with him, he 
cannot depend upon any of them for aid. The fancied 
security I had in the presence of Ford and Freeth made 
me forget that it was my first swim out in deep water 
among the big ones. I recollected, however, and 
rather suddenly, for a big wave came in, and away went 
the two men on its back all the way to shore. I 

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could have been drowned a dozen different ways before 
they got back to me. 

One slides down the face of a breaker on his surf-board, 
but he has to get started to sliding. Board and rider must 
be moving shoreward at a good rate before the wave 
overtakes them. When you see the wave coming that 
you want to ride in, you turn tail to it and paddle 
shoreward with all your strength, using what is called 
^the windmill stroke. This is a sort of spurt performed 
immediately in front of the wave. If the board is go- 
ing fast enough, the wave accelerates it, and the board 
begins its quarter-of-a-mile slide. 

I shall never forget the first big wave I caught out 
there in the deep water. I saw it coming, turned my 
back on it and paddled for dear life. Faster and faster 
my board went, till it seemed my arms would drop off. 
What was happening behind me I could not tell. One 
cannot look behind and paddle the windmill stroke. 
I heard the crest of the wave hissing and churning, and 
then my board was lifted and flung forward. I scarcely 
knew what happened the first half-minute. Though I 
kept my eyes open, I could not see anything, for I 
was buried in the rushing white of the crest. But 
I did not mind. I was chiefly conscious of ecstatic bliss 
at having caught the wave. At the end of the half-min- 
ute, however, I began to see things, and to breathe. I 
saw that three feet of the nose of my board was clear 
out of water and riding on the air. I shifted my weight 
forward, and made the nose come down. Then I lay, 
quite at rest in the midst of the wild movement, and 
watched the shore and the bathers on the beach grow 
distinct. I didn't cover quite a quarter of a mile on 
that wave, because, to prevent the board from div- 

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ing, I shifted my weight back, but shifted it too far 
and fell down the rear slope of the wave. 

It was my second day at surf-riding, and I was quite 
proud of myself. I stayed out there four hours, and when 
It was over, I was resolved that on the morrow I'd come 
in standing up. But that resolution paved a distant 
place. On the morrow I was in bed. I was not sick, 
but I was very unhappy, and I was in bed. When 
describing the wonderful water of Hawaii I forgot to 
describe the wonderful sun of Hawaii. It is a tropic 
sun, and, furthermore, in the first part of June, it is an 
overhead sun. It is also an insidious, deceitful sun. 
For the first time in my life I was sunburned unawares. 
My arms, shoulders, and back had been burned many 
times in the past and were tough ; but not so my legs. 
And for four hours I had exposed the tender backs of my 
legs, at right-angles, to that perpendicular Hawaiian sun. 
It was not until after I got ashore that I discovered the 
sun had touched me. Sunburn at first is merely warm ; 
after that it grows intense and the blisters come out. 
Also, the joints, where the skin wrinkles, refuse to bend. 
That is why I spent the next day in bed. I couldn't 
walk. And that is why, to-day, I am writing this in 
bed. It is easier to than not to. But to-morrow, ah, 
to-morrow, I shall be out in that wonderful water, and 
I shall come in standing up, even as Ford and Freeth. 
And if I fail to-morrow, I shall do it the next day, or 
the next. Upon one thing I am resolved : the Snark 
shall not sail from Honolulu until I, too, wing my 
heels with the swiftness of the sea, and become a sun- 
burned, skin-peeling Mercury. 

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The Lepers of Molokai 

When the Snark sailed along the windward coast of 
Molokai, on her way to Honolulu, I looked at the 
chart, then pointed to a low-lying peninsula backed 
by a tremendous cliff varying from two to four thou- 
sand feet in height, and said : " The pit of hell, the 
most cursed place on earth." I should have been 
shocked, if, at that moment, I could have caught a 
vision of myself a month later, ashore in the most 
cursed place on earth and having a disgracefully good 
time along with eight hundred of the lepers who were 
likewise having a good time. Their good time was 
not disgraceful ; but mine was, for in the midst of so 
much misery it was not meet for me to have a good 
time. That is the way I felt about it, and my only 
excuse is that I couldn't help having a good time. 

For instance, in the afternoon of the Fourth of 
July all the lepers gathered at the race-track for the 
sports. I had wandered away from the Superinten- 
dent and the physicians in order to get a snapshot of 
the finish of one of the races. It was an interesting 
race, and partisanship ran high. Three horses were 
entered, one ridden by a Chinese, one by an Hawaiian, 
and one by a Portuguese boy. All three riders were 
lepers ; so were the judges and the crowd. The race 
was twice around the track. The Chinese and the 
Hawaiian got away together and rode neck and neck, 
the Portuguese boy toiling along two hundred feet 


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behind. Around they went in the same positions. 
Halfway around on the second and final lap the 
Chinese pulled away and got one length ahead of the 
Hawaiian. At the same time the Portuguese boy was 
beginning to crawl up. But it looked hopeless. The 
crowd went wild. All the lepers were passionate lovers 
of horseflesh. The Portuguese boy crawled nearer 
and nearer. I went wild, too. They were on the 
home stretch. The Portuguese boy passed the Ha- 
waiian. There was a thunder of hoofs, a rush of the 
three horses bunched together, the jockeys plying 
their whips, and every last onlooker bursting his 
throat, or hers, with shouts and yells. Nearer, nearer, 
inch by inch, the Portuguese boy crept up, and passed, 
yes, passed, winning by a head from the Chinese. I 
came to myself in a group of lepers. They were 
yelling, tossing their hats, and dancing around like 
fiends. So was I. When I came to I was waving my 
hat and murmuring ecstatically : " By golly, the boy 
wins ! The boy wins ! " 

I tried to check myself. I assured myself that I 
was witnessing one of the horrors of Molokai, and 
that it was shameful for me, under such circumstances, 
to be so light-hearted and light-headed. But it was 
no use. The next event was a donkey -race, and it was 
just starting; so was the fun. The last donkey in 
was to win the race, and what complicated the affeir 
was that no rider rode his own donkey. They rode 
one another's donkeys, the result of which was that 
each man strove to make the donkey he rode beat his 
own donkey ridden by some one else. Naturally, only 
men possessing very slow or extremely obstreperous 
donkeys had entered them for the race. One donkey 

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had been trained to tuck in its legs and lie down when- 
ever its rider touched its sides with his heels. Some 
donkeys strove to turn around and come back ; others 
developed a penchant for the side of the track, where 
they stuck their heads over the railing and stopped ; 
while all of them dawdled. Halfway around the 
track one donkey got into an argument with its rider. 
When all the rest of the donkeys had crossed the wire, 
that particular donkey was still arguing. He won the 
race, though his rider lost it and came in on foot. 
And all the while nearly a thousand lepers were laugh- 
ing uproariously at the fun. Anybody in my place 
would have joined with them in having a good time. 

All the foregoing is by way of preamble to the state- 
ment that the horrors of Molokai, as they have been 
painted in the past, do not exist. The Settlement has 
been written up repeatedly by sensationalists, and 
usually by sensationalists who have never laid eyes on 
it. Of course, leprosy is leprosy, and it is a terrible 
thing; but so much that is lurid has been written 
about Molokai that neither the lepers, nor those who 
devote their lives to them, have received a fair deal. 
Here is a case in point. A newspaper writer, who, of 
course, had never been near the Settlement, vividly 
described Superintendent McVeigh, crouching in a 
grass hut and being besieged nightly by starving lepers 
on their knees, wailing for food. This hair-raising ac- 
count was copied by the press all over the United 
States and was the cause of many indignant and pro- 
testing editorials. Well, I lived and slept for five 
days in Mr. McVeigh's grass hut (which was a com- 
fortable wooden cottage, by the way ; and there isn't a 
grass house in the whole Settlement), and I heard 

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the lepers wailing for food — only the wailing was 
peculiarly harmonious and rhythmic, and it was accom- 
panied by the music of stringed instruments, violins, 
guitars, ukuleles, and banjos. Also, the wailing was 
of various sorts. The leper brass band wailed, and 
two singing societies wailed, and lastly a quintet of ex- 
cellent voices wailed. So much for a lie that should 
never have been printed. The wailing was the serenade 
which the glee clubs always give Mr. McVeigh when 
he returns from a trip to Honolulu. 

Leprosy is not so contagious as is imagined. I went 
for a week's visit to the Settlement, and I took my 
wife along — all of which would not have happened 
had we had any apprehension of contracting the disease. 
Nor did we wear long, gauntleted gloves and keep 
apart from the lepers. On the contrary, we mingled 
freely with them, and before we left, knew scores of 
them by sight and name. The precautions of simple 
cleanliness seem to be all that are necessary. On re- 
turning to their own houses, after having been among 
and handling lepers, the non-lepers, such as the physi- 
cians and the superintendent, merely wash their faces 
and hands with mildly antiseptic soap and change their 

That a leper is unclean, however, should be insisted 
upon ; and the segregation of lepers, from what little 
is known of the disease, should be rigidly maintained. 
On the other hand, the awful horror with which the 
leper has been regarded in the past, and the frightful 
treatment he has received, have been unnecessary and 
cruel. In order to dispel some of the popular misap- 
prehensions of leprosy, I want to tell something of the 
relations between the lepers and non-lepers as I ob- 

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served them at Molokai. On the morning after our 
arrival Charmian and I attended a shoot of the 
Kalaupapa Rifle Club, and caught our first glimpse of 
the democracy of affliction and alleviation that obtains. 
The club was just beginning a prize shoot for a cup 
put up by Mr. McVeigh, who is also a member of the 
club, as also are Dr. Goodhue and Dr. HoUmann, the 
resident physicians (who, by the way, live in the Settle- 

Molokai. Pa-u Riders on Morning of Fourth of July. 

ment with their wives). All about us, in the shooting 
booth, were the lepers. Lepers and non-lepers were 
using the same guns, and all were rubbing shoulders 
in the confined space. The majority of the lepers 
were Hawaiians. Sitting beside me on a bench was a 
Norwegian. Directly in front of me, in the stand, 
was an American, a veteran of the Civil War, who had 
fought on the Confederate side. He was sixty-five 
years of age, but that did not prevent him from run- 
ning up a good score. Strapping Hawaiian policemen, 
lepers, khaki-clad, were also shooting, as were Portu- 
guese, Chinese, and kokuas — the latter are native 
helpers in the Settlement who are non-lepers. And 
on the afternoon that Charmian and I climbed the 
two-thousand-foot pa/i and looked our last upon the 

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Settlement, the superintendent, the doctors, and the mix- 
ture of nationalities and of diseased and non-diseased 
were all engaged in an exciting baseball game. 

Not so was the leper and his greatly misunderstood 
and feared disease treated during the middle ages in 
Europe. At that time the leper was considered legally 
and politically dead. He was placed in a funeral pro- 
cession and led to the church, where the burial service 
was read over him by the officiating clergyman. Then 
a spadeful of earth was dropped upon his chest and he 
was dead — living dead. While this rigorous treatment 
was largely unnecessary, nevertheless, one thing was 
learned by it. Leprosy was unknown in Europe un- 
til it was introduced by the returning Crusaders, where- 
upon it spread slowly until it had seized upon large 
numbers of the people. Obviously, it was a disease 
that could be contracted by contact. It was a conta- 
gion, and it was equally obvious that it could be eradi- 
cated by segregation. Terrible and monstrous as was 
the treatment of the leper in those days, the great 
lesson of segregation was learned. By its means 
leprosy was stamped out. 

And by the same means leprosy is even now de- 
creasing in the Hawaiian Islands. But the segregation 
of the lepers on Molokai is not the horrible nightmare 
that has been so often exploited by yellow v/ntevs. In 
the first place, the leper is not torn ruthlessly from his 
family. When a suspect is discovered, he is invited 
by the Board of Health to come to the Kalihi receiv- 
ing station at Honolulu. His fare and all expenses 
are paid for him. He is first passed upon by micro- 
scopical examination by the bacteriologist of the Board 
of Health. If tht bacillus lepra is found, the patient 

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is examined by the Board of Examining Physicians, 
five in number. If found by them to be a leper, he 
is so declared, which finding is later officially confirmed 
by the Board of Health, and the leper is ordered sent 
to Molokai. Furthermore, during the thorough trial 
that is given his case, the patient has the right to be 
represented by a physician whom he can select and 
employ for himself Nor, after having been declared 
a leper, is the patient immediately rushed off to Mo- 
lokai. He is given ample time, weeks, and even 
months, sometimes, during which he stays at Kalihi 
and winds up or arranges all his business affairs. At 
Molokai, in turn, he may be visited by his relatives, 
business agents, etc., though they are not permitted to 
eat and sleep in his house. Visitors' houses, kept 
" clean," are maintained for this purpose. 

I saw an illustration of the thorough trial given the 
suspect, when I visited Kalihi with Mr. Pinkham, 
president of the Board of Health. The suspect was 
an Hawaiian, seventy years of age, who for thirty-four 
years had worked in Honolulu as a pressman in a 
printing office. The bacteriologist had decided that 
he was a leper, the Examining Board had been unable 
to make up its mind, and that day all had come out to 
Kalihi to make another examination. 

When at Molokai, the declared leper has the priv- 
ilege of reexamination, and patients are continually 
coming back to Honolulu for that purpose. The 
steamer that took me to Molokai had on board two 
returning lepers, both young women, one of whom had 
come to Honolulu to settle up some property she owned, 
and the other had come to Honolulu to see her sick 
mother. Both had remained at Kalihi for a month. 

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The Settlement of Molokai enjoys a far more de- 
lightful climate than even Honolulu, being situated on 
the windward side of the island in the path of the fresh 
northeast trades. The scenery is magnificent ; on one 
side is the blue sea, on the other the wonderful wall of 
the paliy receding here and there into beautiful moun- 
tain valleys. Everywhere are grassy pastures over 
which roam the hundreds of horses which are owned 
by the lepers. Some of them have their own carts, 
rigs, and traps. In the little harbor of Kalaupapa lie 
fishing boats and a steam launch, all of which are pri- 
vately owned and operated by lepers. Their bounds 
upon the sea are, of course, determined ; otherwise no 
restriction is put upon their seafaring. Their fish they 
sell to the Board of Health, and the money they re- 
ceive is their own. While I was there, one night's 
catch was four thousand pounds. 

And as these men fish, others farm. All trades are 
followed. One leper, a pure Hawaiian, is the boss 
painter. He employs eight men, and takes contracts 
for painting buildings from the Board of Health. He 
is a member of the Kalaupapa Rifle Club, where I met 
him, and I must confess that he was far better dressed 
than I. Another man, similarly situated, is the boss 
carpenter. Then, in addition to the Board of Health 
store, there are little privately owned stores, where 
those with shopkeeper's souls may exercise their 
peculiar instincts. The Assistant Superintendent, 
Mr. Waiamau, a finely educated and able man, is a 
pure Hawaiian and a leper. Mr. Bartlett, who is the 
present storekeeper, is an American who was in busi- 
ness in Honolulu before he was struck down by the 
disease. All that these men earn is that much in their 

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own pockets. If they do not work, they are taken 
care of anyway by the territory, given food, shelter, 
clothes, and medical attendance. The Board of Health 
carries on agriculture, stock-raising, and dairying, for 
local use, and employment at fair wages is furnished to 
all that wish to work. They are not compelled to 
work, however, for they are the wards of the territory. 
For the young, and the very old, and the helpless 
there are homes and hospitals. 

Major Lee, an American and long a marine engineer 
for the Inter Island Steamship Company, I met ac- 
tively at work in the new steam laundry, where he was 
busy installing the machinery. I met nim often, after- 
wards, and one day he said to me : 

" Give us a good breeze about how we live here. 
For heaven's sake write us up straight. Put your foot 
down on this chamber-of-horrors rot and all the rest 
of it. We don't like being misrepresented. We've 
got some feelings. Just tell the world how we really 
are in here." 

Man after man that I met in the Settlement, and 
woman after woman, in one way or another expressed 
the same sentiment. It was patent that they resented 
bitterly the sensational and untruthful way in which 
they have been exploited in the past. 

In spite of the fact that they are afflicted by disease, 
the lepers form a happy colony, divided into two vil- 
lages and numerous country and seaside homes, of 
nearly a thousand souls. They have six churches, a 
Young Men's Christian Association building, several 
assembly halls, a band stand, a race-track, baseball 
grounds, and shooting ranges, an athletic club, numer- 
ous glee clubs, and two brass bands. 

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" They are so contented down there," Mr. Pinkham 
told me, " that you can't drive them away with a shot 

This I later verified for myself. In January of this 
year, eleven of the lepers, on whom the disease, after 
having committed certain ravages, showed no further 

Molokai. Leper Fishermen in their Boats at Boat Landing. 

signs of activity, were brought back to Honolulu for 
reexamination. They were loath to come ; and, on 
being asked whether or not they wanted to go free 
if found clean of leprosy, one and all answered, " Back 
to Molokai." 

In the old days, before the discovery of the leprosy 
bacillus, a small number of men and women, suffering 
from various and wholly different diseases, were ad- 
judged lepers and sent to Molokai. Years afterward 
they suffered great consternation when the bacteriolo- 
gists declared that they were not afflicted with leprosy 

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and never had been. They fought against being sent 
away from Molokai, and in one way or another, as 
helpers and nurses, they got jobs from the Board of 
Health and remained. The present jailer is one of 
these men. Declared to be a non-leper, he accepted, 
on salary, the charge of the jail, in order to escape 
being sent away. 

At the present moment, in Honolulu, there is a boot- 
black. He is an American negro. Mr. McVeigh told 
me about him. Long ago, before the bacteriological 
tests, he was sent to Molokai as a leper. As a ward of 
the state he developed a superlative degree of indepen- 
dence and fomented much petty mischief. And then, 
one day, after having been for years a perennial source 
of minor annoyances, the bacteriological test was applied, 
and he was declared a non-leper. 

"Ah, ha!" chortled Mr. McVeigh. "Now I've 
got you ! Out you go on the next steamer and good 
riddance ! " 

But the negro didn't want to go. Immediately he 
married an old woman, in the last stages of leprosy, 
and began petitioning the Board of Health for per- 
mission to remain and nurse his sick wife. There was 
no one, he said pathetically, who could take care of his 
poor wife as well as he could. But they saw through 
his game, and he was deported on the steamer and 
given the freedom of the world. But he preferred 
Molokai. Landing on the leeward side of Molokai, 
he sneaked down the pali one night and took up his 
abode in the Settlement. He was apprehended, tried 
and convicted of trespass, sentenced to pay a small fine, 
and again deported on the steamer with the warning 
that if he trespassed again, he would be fined one hun- 

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dred dollars and be sent to prison in Honolulu. And 
now, when Mr. McVeigh comes up to Honolulu, the 
bootblack shines his shoes for him and says : 

" Say, Boss, I lost a good home down there. Yes, 
sir, I lost a good home." Then his voice sinks to a confi- 
dential whisper as he says, " Say, Boss, can't I go back? 
(!!an't you fix it for me so as I can go back? " 

He had lived nine years on Molokai, and he had 

Molokai. Village of Kalaupapa. The Pali, or Precipice, in the Back- 
ground varies in Height between Two Thousand and Four Thousand Feet. 

had a better time there than he had ever had, before 
and after, on the outside. 

As regards the fear of leprosy itself, nowhere in the 
Settlement among lepers, or non-lepers, did I see any sign 
of it. The chief horror of leprosy obtains in the 
minds of those who have never seen a leper and who do 
not know anything about the disease. At the hotel at 
Waikiki a lady expressed shuddering amazement at 
my having the hardihood to pay a visit to the Settle- 
ment. On talking with her I learned that she had 
been born in Honolulu, had lived there all her life, 
and had never laid eyes on a leper. That was more 
than I could say of myself in the United States, where 
the segregation of lepers is loosely enforced and where 

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I have repeatedly seen lepers on the streets of large 

Leprosy is terrible, there is no getting away from 
that; but from what little I know of the disease and 
its degree of contagiousness, I would by far prefer to 
spend the rest of my days in Molokai than in any 
tuberculosis sanitarium. In every city and county 
hospital for poor people in the United States, or in 
similar institutions in other countries, sights as terrible 
as those in Molokai can be witnessed, and the sum 
total of these sights is vastly more terrible. For that 
matter, if it were given me to choose between being 
compelled to live in Molokai for the rest of my life, 
or in the East End of London, the East Side of New 
York, or the Stockyards of Chicago, I would select 
Molokai without debate. I would prefer one year of 
life in Molokai to live years of life in the above-mentioned 
cesspools of human degradation and misery. 

In Molokai the people are happy. I shall never 
forget the celebration' of the Fourth of July I witnessed 
there. At six o'clock in the morning the " horribles " 
were out, dressed fantastically, astride horses, mules, 
and donkeys (their own property), and cutting capers 
all over the Settlement. Two brass bands were out 
as well. Then there were the pa-u riders, thirty or 
forty of them, Hawaiian women all, superb horsewomen 
dressed gorgeously in the old, native riding costume, 
and dashing about in twos and threes and groups. In 
the afternoon Charmian and I stood in the judge's 
stand and awarded the prizes for horsemanship and 
costume to thep^-« riders. All about were the hundreds 
of lepers, with wreaths of flowers on heads and necks 
and shoulders, looking on and making merry. And 

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always, over the brows of hills and across the grassy 
level stretches, appearing and disappearing, were the 
groups of men and women, gayly dressed, on galloping 
horses, horses and riders flower-bedecked and flower- 
garlanded, singing, and laughing, and riding like the 
wind. And as I stood in the judge's stand and looked 
at all this, there came to my recollection the lazar house 
of Havana, where I had once beheld some two hundred 
lepers, prisoners inside four restricted walls until they 

Molokai. Looking down Damien Road. 

died. No, there are a few thousand places I wot of in 
this world over which I would select Molokai as a 
place of permanent residence. In the evening we went 
to one of the leper assembly halls, where, before a 
crowded audience, the singing societies contested for 
prizes, and where the night wound up with a dance. 
I have seen the Hawaiians living in the slums of 
Honolulu, and, having seen them, I can readily under- 
stand why the lepers, brought up from the Settlement 
for reexamination, shouted one and all, " Back to 
Molokai ! " 

One thing is certain. The leper in the Settlement 
is far better ofi^ than the leper who lies in hiding out- 
side. Such a leper is a lonely outcast, living in constant 

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fear of discovery and slowly and surely rotting away. 
The action of leprosy is not steady. It lays hold of 
its victim, commits a ravage, and then lies dormant for 
an indeterminate period. It may not commit another 
ravage for live years, or ten years, or forty years, 
and the patient may enjoy uninterrupted good health. 
Rarely, however, do these first ravages cease of them- 
selves. The skilled surgeon is required, and the skilled 
surgeon cannot be called in for the leper who is in 
hiding. For instance, the first ravage may take the 
form of a perforating ulcer in the sole of the foot. 
When the bone is reached, necrosis sets in. If the 
leper is in hiding, he cannot be operated upon, the 
necrosis will continue to eat its way up the bone of 
the leg, and in a brief and horrible time that leper will 
die of gangrene or some other terrible complication. 
On the other hand, if that same leper is in Molokai, 
the surgeon will operate upon the foot, remove the 
ulcer, cleanse the bone, and put a complete stop to 
that particular ravage of the disease. A month after 
the operation the leper will be out riding horseback, 
running foot races, swimming in the breakers, or climb- 
ing the giddy sides of the valleys for mountain apples. 
And as has been stated before, the disease, lying dor- 
mant, may not again attack him for five, ten, or forty 

The old horrors of leprosy go back to the conditions 
that obtained before the days of antiseptic surgery, and 
before the time when physicians like Dr. Goodhue and 
Dr. Hollmann went to live at the Settlement. Dr. 
Goodhue is the pioneer surgeon there, and too much 
praise cannot be given him for the noble work he has 
done. I spent one morning in the operating room 

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with him and of the three operations he performed, 
two were on men, newcomers, who had arrived on the 
same steamer with me. In each case, the disease had 
attacked in one spot only. One had a perforat- 
ing ulcer in the ankle, well advanced, and the other 
man was suffering from a similar 
affliction, well advanced, under 
his arm. Both cases were well 
advanced because the man had 
been on the outside and had not 
been treated. In each case, Dr. 
Goodhue put an immediate and 
complete stop to the ravage, and 
in four weeks those two men will 
be as well and able-bodied as they 
ever were in their lives. The 
only difference between them and 
you or me is that the disease is 
lying dormant in their bodies and 
may at any future time commit 
another ravage. 
Leprosy is as old as history. References to it are 
found in the earliest written records. And yet to-day 
practically nothing more is. known about it than was 
known then. This much was known then, namely, 
that it was contagious and that those afflicted by it 
should be segregated. The difference between then 
and now is that to-day the leper is more rigidly segre- 
gated and more humanely treated. But leprosy itself 
still remains the same awful and profound mystery. A 
reading of the reports of the physicians and specialists 
of all countries reveals the baffling nature of the disease. 
These leprosy specialists are unanimous on no one 

Molokai. Father Dami 
en's Church. 

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phase of the disease. They do not know. In the 
past they rashly and dogmatically generalized. They 
generalize no longer. The one possible generalization 
that can be drawn from all the investigation that has 
been made is that leprosy is feebly contagious. But in 
what manner it is feebly contagious is not known. 
They have isolated the bacillus of leprosy. They can 
determine by bacteriological examination whether or 
not a person is a leper; but they are as far away as 
ever from knowing how that bacillus finds its entrance 
into the body of a non-leper. They do not know the 
length of time of incubation. They have tried to 
inoculate all sorts of animals with leprosy, and have 

They are baffled in the discovery of a serum where- 
with to fight the disease. And in all their work, as 
yet; they have found no clew, no cure. Sometimes 
there have been blazes of hope, theories of causation 
and much heralded cures, but every time the darkness 
of failure quenched the flame. A doctor insists that 
the cause of leprosy is a long-continued fish diet, and 
he proves his theory voluminously till a physician 
from the highlands of India demands why the natives 
of that district should therefore be afflicted by leprosy 
when they have never eaten fish nor all the generations 
of their fathers before them. A man treats a leper 
with a certain kind of oil or drug, announces a cure, 
and five, ten, or forty years afterward the disease 
breaks out again. It is this trick of leprosy lying 
dormant in the body for indeterminate periods that is 
responsible for many alleged cures. But this much is 
certain: as yet there has been no authentic case of a cure. 

Leprosy \% feebly contagious y but how is it contagious ? 

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An Austrian physician has inoculated himself and his 
assistants with leprosy and failed to catch it. But 
this is not conclusive, for there is the famous case of 
the Hawaiian murderer, who had his sentence of death 
commuted to life imprisonment on his agreeing to be 
inoculated with the bacil- 
lus leprcB. Some time 
after inoculation, leprosy 
made its appearance, and 
the man died a leper on 
Molokai. Nor was this 
conclusive, for it was dis- 
covered that at the time 
he was inoculated several 
members of his family 
were already suffering 
from the disease on Molo- 
kai. He may have con- 
tracted the disease from 
them, and it may have 
been well along in its 
mysterious period of in- 
cubation at the time he 
was officially inoculated. 
Then there is the case of 
that hero of the Church, 
Father Damien, who went to Molokai a clean man 
and died a leper. There have been many theories as 
to how he contracted leprosy, but nobody knows. 
He never knew himself But every chance that he 
ran has certainly been run by a woman at present liv- 
ing in the Settlement ; who has lived there many 
years ; who has had five leper husbands, and had 

Molokai. Father Damien's Grave. 

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children by them ; and who is to-day, as she always 
has been, free of the disease. 

As yet no light has been shed upon the mystery of 
leprosy. When more is learned about the disease, a 
cure for it may be expected. Once an efficacious serum 
is discovered, and leprosy, because it is so feebly con- 
tagious, will pass away swiftly from the earth. The 
battle waged with it will be short and sharp. In the 
meantime, how to discover that serum, or some other 
unguessed weapon? In the present it is a serious 
matter. It is estimated that there are half a million 
lepers, not segregated, in India alone. Carnegie libra- 
ries. Rockefeller universities, and many similar bene- 
factions are all very well ; but one cannot help thinking 
how far a few thousands of dollars would go, say in 
the leper Settlement of Molokai. The residents there 
are accidents of fate, scapegoats to some mysterious 
natural law of which man knows nothing, isolated for 
the welfare of their fellows who else might catch the 
dread disease, even as they have caught it, nobody 
knows how. Not for their sakes merely, but for the 
sake of future generations, a few thousands of dollars 
would go far in a legitimate and scientific search after 
a cure for leprosy, for a serum, or for some undreamed 
discovery that will enable the medical world to exter- 
minate the bacillus lepra. There's the place for your 
money, you philanthropists. 

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The House of the Sun 

There are hosts of people who journey like restless 
spirits round and about this earth in search of seascapes 
and landscapes and the wonders and beauties of nature. 
They overrun Europe in armies ; they can be met in 
droves and herds in Florida and the West Indies, at 
the pyramids, and on the slopes and summits of the 
Canadian and American Rockies ; but in the House 
of the Sun they are as rare as live and wriggling dino- 
saurs. Haleakala is the Hawaiian name for " the house 
of the sun." It is a noble dwelling, situated on the 
island of Maui ; but so few tourists have ever peeped 
into it, much less entered it, that their number may 
be practically reckoned as zero. Yet I venture to 
state that for natural beauty and wonder the nature- 
lover may see dissimilar things as great as Haleakala, 
but no greater, while he will never see elsewhere any- 
thing more beautiful or wonderful. Honolulu is six 
days' steaming from San Francisco ; Maui is a night's 
run on the steamer from Honolulu ; and six hours 
more if he is in a hurry, can bring the traveller to Ko- 
likoli, which is ten thousand and thirty-two feet above 
the sea and which stands hard by the entrance portal 
to the House of the Sun. Yet the tourist comes not, 
and Haleakala sleeps on in lonely and unseen grandeur. 

Not being tourists, we of the Snark went to Halea- 
kala. On the slopes of that monster mountain there 
is a cattle ranch of some fifty thousand acres, where we 

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spent the night at an altitude of two thousand feet. 
The next morning it was boots and saddles, and with 
cow-boys and packhorses we climbed to Ukulele, a 
mountain ranch-house, the altitude of which, fifty-five 
hundred feet, gives a severely temperate climate, com- 
pelling blankets at night and a roaring fireplace in the 
living-room. Ukulele, by the way, is the Hawaiian for 
"jumping flea" as it is also the Hawaiian for a certain 
musical instrument that may be likened to a young gui- 
tar. It is my opinion that the mountain ranch-house 
was named after the young guitar. We were not in a 
hurry, and we spent the day at Ukulele, learnedly dis- 
cussing altitudes and barometers and shaking our par- 
ticular barometer whenever any one's argument stood in 
need of demonstration. Our barometer was the most 
graciously acquiescent instrument I have ever seen. 
Also, we gathered mountain raspberries, large as hen's 
eggs and larger, gazed up the pasture-covered lava 
slopes to the summit of Haleakala, forty-five hundred 
feet above us, and looked down upon a mighty battle 
of the clouds that was being fought beneath us, our- 
selves in the bright sunshine. 

Every day and every day this unending battle goes 
on. Ukiukiu is the name of the trade-wind that comes 
raging down out of the northeast and hurls itself upon 
Haleakala. Now Haleakala is so bulky and tall that 
it turns the northeast trade-wind aside on either hand, 
so that in the lee of Haleakala no trade-wind blows at 
all On the contrary, the wind blows in the counter 
direction, in the teeth of the northeast trade. This 
wind is called Naulu. And day and night and always 
Ukiukiu and Naulu strive with each other, advancing, 
retreating, flanking, curving, curling, and turning and 

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twisting, the conflict made visible by the cloud-masses 
plucked from the heavens and hurled back and forth 
in squadrons, battalions, armies, and great mountain 
ranges. Once in a while, Ukiukiu, in mighty gusts, 
flings immense cloud-masses clear over the summit of 
Haleakala; whereupon Naulu craftily captures them, 
lines them up in new battle-formation, and with them 
smites back at his ancient and eternal antagonist. 
Then Ukiukiu sends a great cloud-army around the 
eastern side of the mountain. It is a flanking move- 
ment, well executed. But Naulu, from his lair on the 
leeward side, gathers the flanking army in, pulling and 
twisting and dragging it, hammering it into shape, and 
sends it charging back against Ukiukiu around the 
western side of the mountain. And all the while, 
above and below the main battle-field, high up the 
slopes toward the sea, Ukiukiu and Naulu are contin- 
ually sending out little wisps of cloud, in ragged skir- 
mish line, that creep and crawl over the ground, among 
the trees and through the canyons, and that spring 
upon and capture one another in sudden ambuscades 
and sorties. And sometimes Ukiukiu or Naulu, 
abruptly sending out a heavy charging column, cap- 
tures the ragged little skirmishers or drives them 
skyward, turning over and over, in vertical whirls, 
thousands of feet in the air. 

But it is on the western slopes of Haleakala that the 
main battle goes on. Here Naulu masses his heaviest 
formations and wins his greatest victories. Ukiukiu 
grows weak toward late afternoon, which is the way of 
all trade-winds, and is driven backward by Naulu. 
Naulu's generalship is excellent. All day he has been 
gathering and packing away immense reserves. As 

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the afternoon draws on, he welds them into a solid 
column, sharp-pointed, miles in length, a mile in 
width, and hundreds of feet thick. This column he 
slowly thrusts forward into the broad battle-front of 
Ukiukiu, and slowly and surely Ukiukiu, weakening 
fast, is split asunder. But it is not all bloodless. At 
times Ukiukiu struggles wildly, and with fresh acces- 
sions of strength from the limitless northeast, smashes 
away half a mile at a time of Naulu's column and 
sweeps it ofF and away toward West Maui. Some- 
times, when the two charging armies meet end-on, a 
tremendous perpendicular whirl results, the cloud- 
masses, locked together, mounting thousands of feet 
into the air and turning over and over. A favorite 
device of Ukiukiu is to send a low, squat formation, 
densely packed, forward along the ground and under 
Naulu. When Ukiukiu is under, he proceeds to buck. 
Naulu's mighty middle gives to the blow and bends 
upward, but usually he turns the attacking column back 
upon itself and sets it milling. And all the while the 
ragged little skirmishers, stray and detached, sneak 
through the trees and canyons, crawl along and through 
the grass, and surprise one another with unexpected 
leaps and rushes ; while above, far above, serene and 
lonely in the rays of the setting sun, Haleakala looks 
down upon the conflict. And so, the night. But in 
the morning, after the fashion of trade-winds, Ukiukiu 
gathers strength and sends the hosts of Naulu rolling 
back in confusion and rout. And one day is like 
another day in the battle of the clouds, where Ukiukiu 
and Naulu strive eternally on the slopes of Haleakala. 
Again in the morning, it was boots and saddles, 
cow-boys and packhorses, and the climb to the top be- 

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gan. One packhorse carried twenty gallons of water, 
slung in five-gallon bags on either side ; for water is 
precious and rare in the crater itself, in spite of the fact 
that several miles to the north and east of the crater- 
rim more rain comes down than in any other place in 
the world. The way led upward across countless lava 
flows, without regard for trails, and never have I seen 
horses with such perfect footing as that of the thirteen 
that composed our outfit. They climbed or dropped 
down perpendicular places with the sureness and cool- 
ness of mountain goats, and never a horse fell or 

There is a familiar and strange illusion experienced 
by all who climb isolated mountains. The higher one 
climbs, the more of the earth's surface becomes visible, 
and the eflFect of this is that the horizon seems up-hill 
from the observer. This illusion is especially notable 
on Haleakala, for the old volcano rises directly from 
the sea, without buttresses or connecting ranges. In 
consequence, as fast as we climbed up the grim slope 
of Haleakala, still faster did Haleakala, ourselves, and 
all about us, sink down into the centre of what appeared 
a profound abyss. Everywhere, far above us, towered 
the horizon. The ocean sloped down from the hori- 
zon to us. The higher we climbed, the deeper did we 
seem to sink down, the farther above us shone the 
horizon, and the steeper pitched the grade up to that 
horizontal line where sky and ocean met. It was weird 
and unreal, and vagrant thoughts of Simm's Hole and 
of the volcano through which Jules Verne journeyed 
to the centre of the earth flitted through one's mind. 

And then, when at last we reached the summit of 
that monster mountain, which summit was like the 

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bottom of an inverted cone situated in the centre of an 
awful cosmic pit, we found that we were at neither 
top nor bottom. Far above us was the heaven-tower- 
ing horizon, and far beneath us, where the top of the 
mountain should have been, was a deeper deep, the 
great crater, the House of the Sun. Twenty-three 
miles around stretched the dizzy walls of the crater. 
We stood on the edge of the nearly vertical western 
wall, and the floor of the crater lay nearly half a mile 
beneath. This floor, broken by lava-flows and cinder- 
cones, was as red and fresh and uneroded as if it were 
but yesterday that the fires went out. The cinder- 
cones, the smallest over four hundred feet in height 
and the largest over nine hundred, seemed no more 
than puny little sand-hills, so mighty was the magni- 
tude of the setting. Two gaps, thousands of feet deep, 
broke the rim of the crater, and through these Ukiukiu 
vainly strove to drive his fleecy herds of trade-wind 
clouds. As fast as they advanced through the gaps, the 
heat of the crater dissipated them into thin air, and 
though they advanced always, they got nowhere. 

It was a scene of vast bleakness and desolation, stern, 
forbidding, fascinating. We gazed down upon a place 
of fire and earthquake. The tie-ribs of earth lay bare 
before us. It was a workshop of nature still cluttered 
with the raw beginnings of world-making. Here and 
there great dikes of primordial rock had thrust them- 
selves up from the bowels of earth, straight through 
the molten surface-ferment that had evidently cooled 
only the other day. It was all unreal and unbeliev- 
able. Looking upward, far above us (in reality be- 
neath us) floated the cloud-battle of Ukiukiu and 
Naulu. And higher up the slope of the seeming 

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abyss, above the cloud-battle, in the air and sky, hung 
the islands of Lanai and Molokai. Across the crater, 
to the southeast, still apparently looking upward, we 
saw ascending, first, the turquoise sea, then the white 
surf-line of the shore of Hawaii ; above that the belt 
of trade-clouds, and next, eighty miles away, rearing 
their stupendous bulks out of the azure sky, tipped 
with snow, wreathed with cloud, trembling like a 
mirage, the peaks of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa 
hung poised on the wall of heaven. 

It is told that long ago, one Maui, the son of Hina, 
lived on what is now known as West Maui. His 
mother, Hina, employed her time in the making of 
kapas. She must have made them at night, for her 
days were occupied in trying to dry the kapas. Each 
morning, and all morning, she toiled at spreading them 
out in the sun. But no sooner were they out, than she 
began taking them in, in order to have them all under 
shelter for the night. For know that the days were 
shorter then than now. Maui watched his mother's 
futile toil and felt sorry for her. He decided to do 
something — oh, no, not to help her hang out and take 
in the kapas. He was too clever for that. His idea 
was to make the sun go slower. Perhaps he was the 
first Hawaiian astronomer. At any rate, he took a 
series of observations of the sun from various parts of 
the island. His conclusion was that the sun's path 
was directly across Haleakala. Unlike Joshua, he 
stood in no need of divine assistance. He gathered a 
huge quantity of cocoanuts, from the fiber of which he 
braided a stout cord, and in one end of which he made 
a noose, even as the cow-boys of Haleakala do to this 
day. Next he climbed into the House of the Sun and 

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laid in wait. When the sun came tearing along the 
path, bent on completing its journey in the shortest 
time possible, the valiant youth threw his lariat around 
one of the sun's largest and strongest beams. He 
made the sun slow down some ; also, he broke the 
beam short ofF. And he kept on roping and breaking 
ofF beams till the sun said it was willing to listen to 
reason. Maui set forth his terms of peace, which the 
sun accepted, agreeing to go more slowly thereafter. 
Wherefore Hina had ample time in which to dry her 
kapaSy and the days are longer than they used to be, 
which last is quite in accord with the teachings of mod- 
ern astronomy. 

We had a lunch of jerked beef and hard poi in a 
stone corral, used of old time for the night-impounding 
of cattle being driven across the island. Then we 
skirted the rim for half a mile and began the descent 
into the crater. Twenty-five hundred feet beneath lay 
the floor, and down a steep slope of loose volcanic cin- 
ders we dropped, the sure-footed horses slipping and 
sliding, but always keeping their feet. The black sur- 
face of the cinders, when broken by the horses' hoofs, 
turned to a yellow ochre dust, virulent in appearance 
and acid of taste, that arose in clouds. There was a 
gallop across a level stretch to the mouth of a con- 
venient blow-hole, and then the descent continued in 
clouds of volcanic dust, winding in and out among 
cinder-cones, brick-red, old rose, and purplish black 
of color. Above us, higher and higher, towered the 
crater-walls, while we journeyed on across innumerable 
lava-flows, turning and twisting a devious way among 
the adamantine billows of a petrified sea. Saw-toothed 
waves of lava vexed the surface of this weird ocean. 

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while on either hand arose jagged crests and spiracles 
of fantastic shape. Our way led on past a bottomless 
pit and along and over the main stream of the latest 
lava-flow for seven miles. 

At the lower end of the crater was our camping 
spot, in a small grove of olapa and kolea trees, tucked 
away in a corner of the crater at the base of walls that 
rose perpendicularly fifteen hundred feet. Here was 

The Cinder Cones, the Smallest over Four Hundred Feet in Height, the 
Largest over Nine Hundred, on the Floor of the Crater, nearly Half 
a Mile Beneath. 

pasturage for the horses, but no water, and first we 
turned aside and picked our way across a mile of lava 
to a known water-hole in a crevice in the crater-wall. 
The water-hole was empty. But on climbing fifty feet 
up the crevice, a pool was found containing half a dozen 
barrels of water. A pail was carried up, and soon a 
steady stream of the precious liquid was running down 
the rock and filling the lower pool, while the cow-boys 
below were busy fighting the horses back, for there 
was room for one only to drink at a time. Then it 
was on to camp at the foot of the wall, up which herds 
of wild goats scrambled and blatted, while the tent 
arose to the sound of rifle-firing. Jerked beef, hard 

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poiy and broiled kid was the menu. Over the crest of 
the crater, just above our heads, rolled a sea of clouds, 
driven on by Ukiukiu. Though this sea rolled over 
the crest unceasingly, it never blotted out nor dimmed 
the moon, for the heat of the crater dissolved the clouds 
as fast as they rolled in. Through the moonlight, at- 
tracted by the camp-fire, came the crater cattle to peer 
and challenge. They were rolling fat, though they 
rarely drank water, the morning dew on the grass tak- 
ing its place. It was because of this dew that the tent 
made a welcome bedchamber, and we fell asleep to the 
chanting of hulas by the unwearied Hawaiian cow-boys, 
in whose veins, no doubt, ran the blood of Maui, their 
valiant forebear. 

The camera cannot do justice to the House of the 
Sun. The sublimated chemistry of photography may 
not lie, but it certainly does not tell all the truth. The 
Koolau Gap is faithfully reproduced, just as it impinged 
on the retina of the camera, yet in the resulting picture 
the gigantic scale of things is missing. Those walls 
that seem several hundred feet in height are almost as 
many thousand ; that entering wedge of cloud is a mile 
and a half wide in the gap itself, while beyond the gap 
it is a veritable ocean ; and that foreground of cinder- 
cone and volcanic ash, mushy and colorless in appear- 
ance, is in truth gorgeous-hued in brick-red, terra-cotta, 
rose, yellow ochre, and purplish black. Also, words 
are a vain thing and drive to despair. To say that a 
crater-wall is two thousand feet high is to say just pre- 
cisely that it is two thousand feet high ; but there is a 
vast deal more to that crater-wall than a mere statistic. 
The sun is ninety-three millions of miles distant, but 
to mortal conception the adjoining county is farther 

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away. This frailty of the human brain is hard on the 
sun. It is likewise hard on the House of the Sun. 
Haleakala has a message of beauty and wonder for the 
human soul that cannot be delivered by proxy. Koli- 
koli is six hours from Kahului ; Kahului is a night's 

A Lope across a Level Stretch to the Mouth of a Convenient Blow-hole. 

run from Honolulu; Honolulu is six days from San 
Francisco ; and there you are. 

We climbed the crater-walls, put the horses over 
impossible places, rolled stones, and shot wild goats. 
I did not get any goats. I was too busy rolling 
stones. One spot in particular I remember, where we 
started a stone the size of a horse. It began the 
descent easy enough, rolling over, wobbling, and 
threatening to stop ; but in a few minutes it was soar- 
ing through the air two hundred feet at a jump. It 
grew rapidly smaller until it struck a slight slope of 

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volcanic sand, over which it darted like a startled 
jackrabbit, kicking up behind it a tiny trail of yellow 
dust. Stone and dust diminished in size, until some 
of the party said the stone had stopped. That was 
because they could not see it any longer. It had 
vanished into the distance beyond their ken. Others 
saw it rolling farther on — I know I did ; and it is my 
firm conviction that that stone is still rolling. 

Our last day in the crater, Ukiukiu gave us a taste 
of his strength. He smashed Naulu back all along 
the line, filled the House of the Sun to overflowing 
with clouds, and drowned us out. Our rain-gauge 
was a pint cup under a tiny hole in the tent. That 
last night of storm and rain filled the cup, and there 
was no way of measuring the water that spilled over 
into the blankets. With the rain-gauge out of business 
there was no longer any reason for remaining ; so we 
broke camp in the wet-gray of dawn, and plunged 
eastward across the lava to the Kaupo Gap. East 
Maui is nothing more or less than the vast lava stream 
that flowed long ago through the Kaupo Gap ; and 
down this stream we picked our way from an altitude 
of six thousand five hundred feet to the sea. This 
was a day's work in itself for the horses ; but never 
were there such horses. Safe in the bad places, never 
rushing, never losing their heads, as soon as they 
found a trail wide and smooth enough to run on, they 
ran. There was no stopping them until the trail be- 
came bad again, and then they stopped of themselves. 
Continuously, for days, they had performed the hardest 
kind of work, and fed most of the time on grass foraged 
by themselves at night while we slept, and yet that day 
they covered twenty-eight leg-breaking miles and gal- 

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loped into Hana like a bunch of colts. Also, there 
were several of them, reared in the dry region on the 
leeward side of Haleakala, that had never worn shoes 
in all their lives. Day after day, and all day long, 
unshod, they had travelled over the sharp lava, with 
the extra weight of a man on their backs, and their 
hoofs were in better condition than those of the shod 

The scenery between Vieiras's (where the Kaupo 
Gap empties into the sea) and Hana, which we covered 

Our Way led past a Bottomless Pit. 

in half a day, is well worth a week or a month; but, 
wildly beautiful as it is, it becomes pale and small in 
comparison with the wonderland that lies beyond the 
rubber plantations between Hana and the Honomanu 
Gulch. Two days were required to cover this marvel- 
lous stretch, which lies on the windward side of Halea- 
kala. The people who dwell there call it the " ditch 
country," an unprepossessing name, but it has no 
other. Nobody else ever comes there. Nobody else 
knows anything about it. With the exception of a 
handful of men, whom business has brought there, 
nobody has heard of the ditch country of Maui. Now 
a ditch is a ditch, assumably muddy, and usually travers- 

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ing uninteresting and monotonous landscapes. But the 
Nahiku Ditch is not an ordinary ditch. The windward 
side of Haleakala is serried by a thousand precipitous 
gorges, down which rush as many torrents, each tor- 
rent of which achieves a score of cascades and water- 
falls before it reaches the sea. More rain comes down 
here than in any other region in the world. In 1904 the 
year's downpour was four hundred and twenty inches. 
Water means sugar, and sugar is the backbone of the 
territory of Hawaii, wherefore the Nahiku Ditch, 
which is not a ditch, but a chain of tunnels. The water 
travels underground, appearing only at intervals to 
leap a gorge, travelling high in the air on a giddy 
flume and plunging into and through the opposing 
mountain. This magnificent waterway is called a 
" ditch," and with equal appropriateness can Cleopatra's 
barge be called a box-car. 

There are no carriage roads through the ditch coun- 
try, and before the ditch was built, or bored, rather, 
there was no horse-trail. Hundreds of inches of rain 
annually, on fertile soil, under a tropic sun, means a 
steaming jungle of vegetation. A man, on foot, cut- 
ting his way through, might advance a mile a day, but 
at the end of a week he would be a wreck, and he 
would have to crawl hastily back if he wanted to get 
out before the vegetation overran the passage way he 
had cut. O'Shaughnessy was the daring engineer who 
conquered the jungle and the gorges, ran the ditch, 
and made the horse-trail. He built enduringly, in 
concrete and masonry, and made one of the most re- 
markable water-farms in the world. Every little runlet 
and dribble is harvested and conveyed by subterranean 
channels to the main ditch. But so heavily does it 

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rain at times, that countless spillways let the surplus 
escape to the sea. 

The horse-trail is not very wide. Like the engineer 
who built it, it dares anything. Where the ditch 
plunges through the mountain, it climbs over; and 
where the ditch leaps a gorge on a flume, the horse- 

That Entering Wedge of Cloud is a Mile and a Half Wide in the Gap 
Itself, while beyond the Gap it is a Veritable Ocean. 

trail takes advantage of the ditch and crosses on top 
of the flume. That careless trail thinks nothing of 
travelling up or down the faces of precipices. It gouges 
its narrow way out of the wall, dodging around water- 
falls or passing under them where they thunder down 
in white fury; while straight overhead the wall rises 
hundreds of feet, and straight beneath it sinks a 
thousand. And those marvellous mountain horses are 
as unconcerned as the trail. They fox-trot along it as 
a matter of course, though the footing is slippery with 

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rain, and they will gallop with their hind feet slipping 
over the edge if you let them. I advise only those 
with steady nerves and cool heads to tackle the Nahiku 
Ditch trail. One of our cow-boys was noted as the 
strongest and bravest on the big ranch. He had 
ridden mountain horses all his life on the rugged 
western slopes of Haleakala. He was first in the 
horse-breaking ; and when the others hung back, as a 
matter of course, he would go in to meet a wild bull in 
the cattle-pen. He had a reputation. But he had 
never ridden over the Nahiku Ditch. It was there 
he lost his reputation. When he faced the first flume, 
spanning a hair-raising gorge, narrow, without railings, 
with a bellowing waterfall above, another below, and 
directly beneath a wild cascade, the air filled with driving 
spray and rocking to the clamor and rush of sound and 
motion — well, that cow-boy dismounted from his horse, 
explained briefly that he had a wife and two children, 
and crossed over on foot, leading the horse behind him. 
The only relief from the flumes was the precipices ; 
and the only relief from the precipices was the flumes, 
except where the ditch was far under ground, in which 
case we crossed one horse and rider at a time, on primi- 
tive log-bridges that swayed and teetered and threat- 
ened to carry away. I confess that at first I rode such 
places with my feet loose in the stirrups, and that on the 
sheer walls I saw to it, by a definite, conscious act of 
will, that the foot in the outside stirrup, overhanging 
the thousand feet of fall, was exceedingly loose. I say 
" at first " ; for, as in the crater itself we quickly lost 
our conception of magnitude, so, on the Nahiku Ditch, 
we quickly lost our apprehension of depth. The 
ceaseless iteration of height and depth produced a state 

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of consciousness in which height and depth were ac- 
cepted as the ordinary conditions of existence; and 
from the horse's back to look sheer down four hundred 
or five hundred feet became quite commonplace and 
non-productive of thrills. And as carelessly as the 
trail and the horses, we swung along the dizzy heights 
and ducked around or through the waterfalls. 

And such a ride ! Falling water was everywhere. 
We rode above the clouds, under the clouds, and 

And through the Gap Ukiukiu vainly strove to drive his Fleecy Herds 
of Trade-wind Clouds. 

through the clouds ! and every now and then a shaft 
of sunshine penetrated like a search-light to the depths 
yawning beneath us, or flashed upon some pinnacle of 
the crater-rim thousands of feet above. At every turn 
of the trail a waterfall or a dozen waterfalls, leaping 
hundreds of feet through the air, burst upon our vision. 
At our first night's camp, in the Keanae Gulch, we 
counted thirty-two waterfalls from a single viewpoint. 
The vegetation ran riot over that wild land. There 
were forests of koa and kolea trees, and candlenut trees; 
and then there were the trees called ohia-ai, which bore 
red mountain apples, mellow and juicy and most excel- 
lent to eat. Wild bananas grew everywhere, clinging 

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to the sides of the gorges, and, overborne by their great 
bunches of ripe fruit, falling across the trail and block- 
ing the way. And over the forest surged a sea of green 
life, the climbers of a thousand varieties, some that 
floated airily, in lacelike filaments, from the tallest 
branches ; others that coiled and wound about the trees 
like huge serpents ; and one, the ei-ei, that was for all 
the world like a climbing palm, swinging on a thick stem 
from branch to branch and tree to tree and throttling 
the supports whereby it climbed. Through the sea of 
green, lofty tree-ferns thrust their great delicate fronds, 
and the lehua flaunted its scarlet blossoms. Under- 
neath the climbers, in no less profusion, grew the warm- 
colored, strangely-marked plants that in the United 
States one is accustomed to seeing preciously conserved 
in hot-houses. In fact, the ditch country of Maui is 
nothing more nor less than a huge conservatory. Every 
familiar variety of fern flourisnes, and more "varieties 
that are unfamiliar, from the tiniest maidenhair to the 
gross and voracious staghorn, the latter the terror of the 
woodsmen, interlacing with itself in tangled masses five 
or six feet deep and covering acres. . 

Never was there such a ride. For two days it lasted, 
when we emerged into rolling country, and, along an 
actual wagon-road, came home to the ranch at a gallop. 
I know it was cruel to gallop the horses after such a 
long, hard journey ; but we blistered our hands in vain 
effort to hold them in. That's the sort of horses they 
grow on Haleakala. At the ranch there was great fes- 
tival of cattle-driving, branding, and horse-breaking. 
Overhead Ukiukiu and Naulu battled valiantly, and far 
above, in the sunshine, towered the mighty summit of 

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A Pacific Traverse 

Sandwich Islands to Tahiti. — There is great difficulty 
in making this passage across the trades. The whalers 
and all others speak with great doubt of fetching Tahiti 
from the Sandwich Islands. Capt. Bruce says that a ves- 
sel should keep to the northward until she gets a start of 
wind before bearing for her destination. In his passage 
between them in November^ ^^37^ he had no variables 
near the line in coming southy and never could make easting 
on either tacky though he endeavored by every means to 
do so. 

So says the sailing directions for the South Pacific 
Ocean ; and that is all it says. There is not a word 
more to help the weary voyager in making this long 
traverse — nor is there any word at all concerning the 
passage from Hawaii to the Marquesas, which lie some 
eight hundred miles to the northeast of Tahiti and 
which are the more difficult to reach by just that much. 
The reason for the lack of directions is, I imagine, that 
no voyager is supposed to make himself weary by at- 
tempting so impossible a traverse. But the impossible 
did not deter the Snarky — principally because of the 
fact that we did not read that particular little paragraph 
in the sailing directions until after we had started. We 
sailed from Hilo, Hawaii, on October 7, and arrived 
at Nuka-hiva, in the Marquesas, on December 6. The 
distance was two thousand miles as the crow flies, while 


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we actually travelled at least four thousand miles to ac- 
complish it, thus proving for once and forever that the 
shortest distance between two points is not always a 
straight line. Had we headed directly for the Mar- 
quesas, we might have travelled five or six thousand 

Upon one thing we were resolved: we would not 
cross the Line west of 130° west longitude. For here 
was the problem. To cross the Line to the west of 
that point, if the southeast trades were well around to 
the southeast, would throw us so far to leeward of the 
Marquesas that a head-beat would be maddeningly 
impossible. Also, we had to remember the equatorial 
current, which moves west at a rate of anywhere fi-om 
twelve to seventy-five miles a day. A pretty pickle, 
indeed, to be to leeward of our destination with such a 
current in our teeth. No ; not a minute, nor a second, 
west of 130° west longitude would we cross the Line. 
But since the southeast trades were to be expected five 
or six degrees north of the Line (which, if they were 
well around to the southeast or south-southeast, would 
necessitate our sliding off toward south-southwest), we 
should have to hold to the eastward, north of the Line, 
and north of the southeast trades, until we gained at 
least 128° west longitude. 

I have forgotten to mention that the seventy-horse- 
power gasolene engine, as usual, was not working, and 
that we could depend upon wind alone. Neither was 
the launch engine working. And while I am about it, 
I may as well confess that the five-horse-power, which 
ran the lights, fans, and pumps, was also on the sick- 
list. A striking title for a book haunts me, waking and 
sleeping. I should like to write that book some day 

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and to call it " Around the World with Three Gasolene 
Engines and a Wife." But I am afraid I shall not 
write it, for fear of hurting the feelings of some of the 
young gentlemen of San Francisco, Honolulu, and Hilo, 
who learned their trades at the expense of the Snark's 

It looked easy on paper. Here was Hilo and 
there was our objective, 128° west longitude. With 
the northeast trade 
blowing we could 
travel a straight 
line between the 
two points, and 
even slack our 
sheets off a goodly 
bit. But one of 
the chief troubles 
with the trades 


one never 

A Man-eater. 

knows just where he will pick them up and just in 
what direction they will be blowing. We picked up 
the northeast trade right outside of Hilo harbor, but 
the miserable breeze was away around into the east. 
Then there was the north equatorial current setting 
westward like a mighty river. Furthermore, a small 
boat, by the wind and bucking into a big head- 
sea, does not work to advantage. She jogs up and 
down and gets nowhere. Her sails are full and strain- 
ing, every little while she presses her lee-rail under, 
she flounders, and bumps, and splashes, and that is 
all. Whenever she begins to gather way, she runs 
ker-chug into a big mountain of water and is brought 
to a standstill. So, with the Snark, the resultant of 

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her smallness, of the trade around into the east, and 
of the strong equatorial current, was a long sag south. 
Oh, she did not go quite south. But the easting she 
made was distressing. On October 1 1, she made forty 
miles easting ; October 12, fifteen miles; October 13, 
no easting; October 14, thirty miles; October 15, 
twenty-three miles; October 16, eleven miles; and on 
October 17, she actually went to the westward four 
miles. Thus, in a week, she made one hundred and 
fifteen miles easting, which was equivalent to sixteen 
miles a day. But, between the longitude of Hilo and 
128° west longitude is a difference of twenty-seven de- 
grees, or, roughly, sixteen hundred miles. At sixteen 
miles a day, one hundred days would be required to ac- 
complish this distance. And even then, our objective, 
128° west longitude, was five degrees north of the Line, 
while Nuka-hiva, in the Marquesas, lay nine degrees 
south of the Line and twelve degrees to the west ! 

There remained only one thing to do — to work 
south out of the trade and into the variables. It is true 
that Captain Bruce found no variables on his traverse, 
and that he " never could make easting on either tack." 
It was the variables or nothing with us, and we prayed 
for better luck than he had had. The variables con- 
stitute the belt of ocean lying between the trades and 
the doldrums, and are conjectured to be the draughts 
of heated air which rise in the doldrums, flow high in 
the air counter to the trades, and gradually sink down 
till they fan the surface of the ocean where they are 
found. And they are found . . . where they are 
found ; for they are wedged between the trades and the 
doldrums, which same shift their territory from day to 
day and month to month. 

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We found the variables in 11° north latitude, and 
11° north latitude we hugged jealously. To the south 
lay the doldrums. To the north lay the northeast 
trade that refused to blow from the northeast. The 
days came and went, and always they found the Snark 
somewhere near the eleventh parallel. The variables 
were truly variable. A light head-wind would die 
away and leave us rolling in a calm for forty-eight 
hours. Then a light head-wind would spring up, blow 
for three hours, and leave us rolling in another calm 
for forty-eight hours. Then — hurrah ! — the wind 
would come out of the west, fresh, beautifully fresh, 
and send the Snark along, wing and wing, her wake 
bubbling, the log-line straight astern. At the end of 
half an hour, while we were preparing to set the spin- 
naker, with a few sickly gasps the wind would die 
away. And so it went. We wagered optimistically on 
every favorable fan of air that lasted over five minutes; 
but it never did any good. The fans faded out just 
the same. 

But there were exceptions. In the variables, if you 
wait long enough, something is bound to happen, and 
we were so plentifully stocked with food and water 
that we could afford to wait. On October 26, we 
actually made one hundred and three miles of easting, 
and we talked about it for days afterward. Once we 
caught a moderate gale from the south, which blew it- 
self^ut in eight hours, but it helped us to seventy-one 
miles of easting in that particular twenty-four hours. 
And then, just as it was expiring, the wind came straight 
out from the north (the directly opposite quarter), and 
fanned us along over another degree of easting. 

In years and years no sailing vessel has attempted 

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this traverse, and we found ourselves in the midst of 
one of the loneliest of the Pacific solitudes. In the 
sixty days we were crossing it we sighted no sail, lifted 
no steamer's smoke above the horizon. A disabled 
vessel could drift in this deserted expanse for a dozen 
generations, and there would be no rescue. The only 
chance of rescue would be from a vessel like the Snarky 
and the Snark happened to be there principally because 

of the fact that the 
traverse had been 
begun before the 
particular para- 
graph in the sail- 
ing directions had 
been read. Stand- 
ing upright on 
deck, a straight line 
drawn from the 
eye to the horizon 
would measure 
three miles and a half Thus, seven miles was the 
diameter of the circle of the sea in which we had our 
centre. Since we remained always in the centre, and 
since we constantly were moving in some direction, we 
looked upon many circles. But all circle^ looked 
alike. No tufted islets, gray headlands, nor glistening 
patches of white canvas ever marred the symmetry of 
that unbroken curve. Clouds came and went, rising 
up over the rim of the circle, flowing across the space 
of it, and spilling away and down across the opposite 

The world faded as the procession of the weeks 
marched by. The world faded until at last there 

Through the Shark's Jaws. 

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ceased to be any world except the little world of the 
Snarky freighted with her seven souls and floating on 
the expanse of the waters. Our memories of the world, 
the great world, became like dreams of former lives we 
had lived somewhere before we came to be born on the 
Snark. After we had been out of fresh vegetables for 
some time, we mentioned such things in much the 
same way I have heard my father mention the vanished 
apples of his boyhood. Man is a creature of habit, and 
we on the Snark had got the habit of the Snark. 
Everything about her and aboard her was as a matter 
of course, and anything different would have been an 
irritation and an offence. 

There was no way by which the great world 
could intrude. Our bell rang the hours, but no caller ever 
rang it. There were no guests to dinner, no telegrams, 
no insistent telephone jangles invading our privacy. 
We had no engagements to keep, no trains to catch, 
and there were no morning newspapers over which to 
waste time in learning what was happening to our 
fifteen hundred million other fellow-creatures. 

But it was not dull. The affairs of our little world 
had to be regulated, and,unlike the great world, our world 
had to be steered in its journey through space. Also, 
there were cosmic disturbances to be encountered and 
baffled, such as do not afliict the big earth in its frictionless 
orbit through the windless void. And we never knew, 
from moment to moment, what was going to happen 
next. There was spice and variety enough and to 
spare. Thus, at four in the morning, I relieve Her- 
mann at the wheel. 

" East-northeast,'* he gives me the course. " She's 
eight points off", but she ain't steering." 

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Small wonder. The vessel does not exist that can 
be. steered in so absolute a calm. 

" I had a breeze a little while ago — maybe it will 
come back again," Hermann says hopefully, ere he 
starts forward to the cabin and his bunk. 

The mizzen is in and fast furled. In the night, 
what of the roll and the absence of wind, it nad 
made life too hideous to be permitted to go on rasping at 
the mast, smashing at the tackles, and buffeting the 
empty air into hollow outbursts of sound. But the 
big mainsail is still on, and the staysail, jib, and flying- 
jib are snapping and slashing at their sheets with every 
roll. Every star is out. Just for luck I put the wheel 
hard over in the opposite direction to which it had been 
left by Hermann, and I lean back and gaze up at the 
stars. There is nothing else for me to do. There is 
nothing to be done with a sailing vessel rolling in a stark 

Then I feel a fan on my cheek, faint, so faint, that 
I can just sense it ere it is gone. But another 
comes, and another, until a real and just perceptible 
breeze is blowing. How the Snark^s sails manage to 
feel it is beyond me, but feel it they do, as she does 
as well, for the compass card begins slowly to revolve 
in the binnacle. In reality, it is not revolving at all. 
It is held by terrestrial magnetism in one place, and it 
is the Snark that is revolving, pivoted upon that deli- 
cate cardboard device that floats in a closed vessel of 

So the Snark comes back on her course. The breath 
increases to a tiny puff. The Snark feels the weight 
of it and actually heels over a trifle. There is fly- 
ing scud overhead, and I notice the stars being blotted 

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out. Walls of darkness close in upon me, so that, 
when the last star is gone, the darkness is so near that 
it seems I can reach out and touch it on every side. 
When I lean toward it, I can feel it loom against my 
face. PufF follows pufF, and I am glad the mizzen 
is furled. Phew ! that was a stiff one ! The Snark 
goes over and down until her lee-rail is buried and 
the whole Pacific Ocean is pouring in. Four or five 
of these gusts make me wish that the jib and flying-jib 
were in. The sea is picking up, the gusts are growing 
stronger and more frequent, and there is a splatter of 
wet in the air. There is no use in attempting to gaze 
to windward. The wall of blackness is within arm's 
length. Yet I cannot help attempting to see and gauge 
the blows that are being struck at the Snark. There 
is something ominous and menacing up there to wind- 
ward, and I have a feeling that if I look long enough 
and strong enough, I shall divine it. Futile feeling. 
Between two gusts I leave the wheel and run forward to 
the cabin companionway, where I light matches and 
consult the barometer. " 29-90 " it reads. That sen- 
sitive instrument refuses to take notice of the distur- 
bance which is humming with a deep, throaty voice in 
the rigging. I get back to the wheel just in time to 
meet another gust, the strongest yet. Well, anyway, 
the wind is abeam and the Snark is on her course, eat- 
ing up easting. That at least is well. 

The jib and flying-jib bother me, and I wish they 
were in. She would make easier weather of it, and less 
risky weather likewise. The wind snorts, and stray 
raindrops pelt like birdshot. I shall certainly have to 
call all hands, I conclude ; then conclude the next in- 
stant to hang on a little longer. Maybe this is the end 

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of it, and I shall have called them for nothing. It is 
better to let them sleep. I hold the Snark down to 
her task, and from out of the darkness, at right angles, 
comes a deluge of rain accompanied by shrieking wind. 
Then everything eases except the blackness, and I re- 
joice in that I have not called the men. 

No sooner does the wind ease than the sea picks 
up. The combers are breaking now, and the boat is 

tossing like a cork. 

Then out of the 
blackness the gusts 
come harder and 
faster than before. 
If only I knew 
what was up there 
to windward in the 
blackness ! The 
Snark is making 
heavy weather of 
it, and her lee-rail 
is buried oftener than not. More shrieks and snorts 
of wind. Now, if ever, is the time to call the men. 
I will call them, I resolve. Then there is a burst 
of rain, a slackening of the wind, and I do not call. 
But it is rather lonely, there at the wheel, steering a 
little world through howling blackness. It is quite a 
responsibility to be all alone on the surface of a little 
world in time of stress, doing the thinking for its 
sleeping inhabitants. I recoil from the responsibility 
as more gusts begin to strike and as a sea licks along 
the weather rail and splashes over into the cockpit. 
The salt water seems strangely warm to my body and 
is shot through with ghostly nodules of phospho- 

A Dolphin. 

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rescent light. I shall surely call all hands to shorten 
sail. Why should they sleep ? I am a fool to have 
any compunctions in . the matter. My intellect is 
arrayed against my heart. It was my heart that said, 
" Let them sleep." Yes, but it was my intellect that 
backed up my heart in that judgment. Let my intel- 
lect then reverse the judgment ; and, while I am specu- 
lating as to what particular entity issued that command 
to my intellect, the gusts die away. Solicitude for mere 
bodily comfort has no place in practical seamanship, I 
conclude sagely; but study the feel of the next series 
of gusts and do not call the men. After all, it is my 
intellect, behind everything, procrastinating, measuring 
its knowledge of what the Snark can endure against the 
blows being struck at her, and waiting the call of all 
hands against the striking of still severer blows. 

Daylight, gray and violent, steals through the 
cloud-pall and shows a foaming sea that flattens 
under the weight of recurrent and increasing squalls. 
Then comes the rain, filling the windy valleys of the 
sea with milky smoke and further flattening the waves, 
which but wait for the easement of wind and rain to 
leap more wildly than before. Come the men on 
deck, their sleep out, and among them Hermann, his 
face on the broad grin in appreciation of the breeze of 
wind I have picked up. I turn the wheel over to 
Warren and start to go below, pausing on the 
way to rescue the galley stovepipe which has gone 
adrift. I am barefooted, and my toes have had an ex- 
cellent education in the art of clinging ; but, as the rail 
buries itself in a green sea, I suddenly sit down on the 
streaming deck. Hermann good-naturedly elects to 
question my selection of such a spot. Then comes 

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the next roll, and he sits down, suddenly, and without 
premeditation. The Snark heels over and down, the 
rail takes it green, and Hermann and I, clutching the 
precious stovepipe, are swept down into the lee- 
scuppers. After that I finish my journey below, and 
while changing my clothes grin with satisfaction — the 
Snark is making easting. 

No, it is not all monotony. When we had worried 
along our easting to 126° west longitude, we left the 
variables and headed south through the doldrums, 
where was much calm weather and where, taking 
advantage of every fan of air, we were often glad to 
make a score of miles in as many hours. And yet, on 
such a day, we might pass through a dozen squalls and 
be surrounded by dozens more. And every squall 
was to be regarded as a bludgeon capable of crushing 
the Snark. We were struck sometimes by the centres 
and sometimes by the sides of these squalls, and we 
never knew just where or how we were to be hit. 
The squall that rose up, covering half the heavens, and 
swept down upon us, as likely as not split into two 
squalls which passed us harmlessly on either side; 
while the tiny, innocent-looking squall that' appeared 
to carry no more than a hogshead of water and a pound 
of wind, would abruptly assume cyclopean proportions, 
deluging us with rain and overwhelming us with wind. 
Then there were treacherous squalls that went boldly 
astern and sneaked back upon us from a mile to leeward. 
Again, two squalls would tear along, one on each side 
ofus, and we would get a fillip from each of them. 
Now a gale certainly grows tiresome after a few hours, 
but squalls never. The thousandth squall in one's ex- 
perience is as interesting as the first one, and perhaps a 

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bit more so. It is the tyro who has no apprehension 
of them. The man of a thousand squalls respects a 
squall. He knows what they are. 

It was in the doldrums that our most exciting event 
occurred. On November 20, we discovered that 
through an accident we had lost over one-half of the 
supply of fresh water that remained to us. Since we 
were at that time forty-three days out from Hilo, our 
supply of fresh water was not large. To lose over half 
of it was "a catastrophe. On close allowance, the rem- 
nant of water we possessed would last twenty days. 
But we were in the doldrums ; there was no telling 
where the southeast trades were, nor where we would 
pick them up. 

The handcuffs were promptly put upon the pump, 
and once a day the water was portioned out. Each 
of us received a quart for personal use, and eight quarts 
were given to the cook. Enters now the psychology of 
the situation. No sooner had the discovery of the water 
shortage been made than I, for one, was afflicted with 
a burning thirst. It seemed to me that I had never 
been so thirsty in my life. My little quart of water I 
could easily have drunk in one draught, and to refrain 
from doing so required a severe exertion of will. Nor 
was I alone in this. All of us talked wateV, thought 
water, and dreamed water when we slept. We examined 
the charts for possible islands to which to run in extrem- 
ity, but there were no such islands. The Marquesas were 
the nearest, and they were the other side ox the Line, 
and of the doldrums, too, which made it even worse. 
We were in 3° north latitude, while the Marquesas were 
in 9° south latitude — a difference of over a thousand 
miles. Furthermore, the Marquesas lay some fourteen 

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degrees to the west of our longitude. A pretty pickle 
for a handful of creatures sweltering on the ocean in 
the heat of tropic calms. 

We rigged lines on either side between the main and 
mizzen riggings. To these we laced the big deck 
awning, hoisting it up aft with a sailing pennant so that 
any rain it might collect would run forward where it 
could be caught. Here and there squalls passed across 

the circle of the 
sea. All day we 
watched them, now 
to port or star- 
board, and again 
ahead or astern. 
But never one 
came near enough 
to wet us. In the 
afternoon a big one 
bore down upon 
us. It spread out 
across the ocean as it approached, and we could see it 
emptying countless thousands of gallons into the salt 
sea. Extra attention was paid to the awning, and 
then we waited. Warren, Martin, and Hermann 
made a vivid picture. Grouped together, holding on 
to the rigging, swaying to the roll, they were gazing 
intently at the squall. Strain, anxiety, and yearning 
were in every posture of their bodies. Beside them 
was the dry and empty awning. But they seemed 
to grow limp and to droop as the squall broke in half, 
one part passing on ahead, the other drawing astern 
and going to leeward. 

But that night came rain. Martin, whose psycho- 

An Unwilling Pose. 

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logical thirst had compelled him to drink his quart of 
water early, got his mouth down to the lip of tne awn- 
ing and drank the deepest draught I ever have seen 
drunk. The precious water came down in bucketfuls 
and tubfiils, and in two hours we caught and stored 
away in the tanks one hundred and twenty gallons. 
Strange to say, in all the rest of our voyage to the 
Marquesas not another drop of rain fell on board. If 
that squall had missed us, the handcuffs would have 
remained on the pump, and we would have busied our- 
selves with utilizing our surplus gasolene for distillation 

Then there was the fishing. One did not have to 
go in search of it, for it was there at the rail. A three- 
inch steel hook, on the end of a stout line, with a 
piece of white rag for bait, was all that was necessary to 
catch bonitas weighing from ten to twenty-five pounds. 
Bonitas feed on flying-fish, wherefore they are unac- 
customed to nibbling at the hook. They strike as 
gamely as the gamest fish in the sea, and their first run 
is something that no man who has ever caught them 
will forget Also, bonitas are the veriest cannibals. 
The instant one is hooked he is attacked by his fel- 
lows. Often and often we hauled them on board with 
fresh, clean-bitten holes in them the size of teacups. 

One school of bonitas, numbering many thousands, 
stayed with us day and night for more than three weeks. 
Aided by the Snarky it was great hunting ; for they cut 
a swath of destruction through the ocean half a mile 
wide and fifteen hundred miles in length. They ranged 
along abreast of the Snark on either side, pouncing upon 
the flying-fish her forefoot scared up. Since they were 
continually pursuing astern the flying-fish that survived 

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for several flights, they were always ovfsrtaking the 
Snarky and at any time one could glance astern and on 
the front of a breaking wave see scores of their silvery 
forms coasting down just under the surface. When 
they had eaten their fill, it was their delight to get in 
the shadow of the boat, or of her sails, and a hundred or 
so were always to be seen lazily, sliding along and keep- 
ing cool. 

But the poor flying-fish ! Pursued and eaten alive 
by the bonitas and dolphins, they sought flight in the 
air, where the swooping seabirds drove them back into 
the water. Under heaven there was no refuge for them. 
Flying-fish do not play when they essay the air. It is 
a life-and-death affair with them. A thousand times a 
day we could lift our eyes and see the tragedy played 
out. The swift, broken circling of a guny might at- 
tract one's attention. A glance beneath shows the 
back of a dolphin breaking the surface in a wild rush. 
Just in front of its nose a shimmering palpitant streak 
of silver shoots from the water into the air — a delicate, 
organic mechanism of flight, endowed with sensation, 
power of direction, and love of life. The guny swoops 
for it and misses, and the flying-fish, gaining its alti- 
tude by rising, kite-like, against the wind, turns in a 
half-circle and skims oflF to leeward, gliding on the 
bosom of the wind. Beneath it, the wake of the dol- 
phin shows in churning foam. So he follows, gazing 
upward with large eyes at the flashing breakfast, that 
navigates an element other than his own. He cannot 
rise to so lofty occasion, but he is a thorough-going 
empiricist, and he knows, sooner or later, if not gobbled 
up by the guny, that the flying-fish must return to the 
water. And then — breakfast. We used to pity the 

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poor winged fish. It was sad to see such sordid and 
bloody slaughter. And then, in the night watches, 
when a forlorn little flying-fish struck the mainsail and 
fell gasping and splattering on the deck, we would rush 
for it just as eagerly, just as greedily, just as vora- 
ciously, as the dolphins and bonitas. For know that 
flying-fish are most toothsome for breakfast. It is al- 
ways a wonder to me that such dainty meat does not 
build dainty tissue in the bodies of the devourers. 
Perhaps the dolphins and bonitas are coarser-fibred 
because of the high speed at which they drive their 
bodies in order to catch their prey. But then again, 
the flying-fish drive their bodies at high speed, too. 

Sharks we raught occasionally, on large hooks, with 
chain-swivels, bent on a length of small rope. And 
sharks meant pilot-fish, and remoras, and various sorts 
of parasitic creatures. Regular man-eaters some of 
the sharks proved, tiger-eyed and with twelve rows 
of teeth, razor-sharp. By the way, we of the Snark 
are agreed that we have eaten many fish that will not 
compare with baked shark smothered in tomato dress- 
ing. In the calms we occasionally caught a fish called 
" hake " by the Japanese cook. And once, on a spoon- 
hook trolling a hundred yards astern, we caught a snake- 
like fish, over three feet in length and not more than 
three inches in diameter, with four fangs in his Jaw. 
He proved the most delicious fish — delicious in meat 
and flavor — that we have ever eaten on board. 

The most welcome addition to our larder was a 
green sea-turtle, weighing a full hundred pounds and 
appearing on the table most appetizingly in steaks, 
soups, and stews, and finally in a wonderful curry 
which tempted all hands into eating more rice than 

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was good for them. The turtle was sighted to wind- 
ward, calmly sleeping on the surface in the midst of a 
huge school of curious dolphins. It was a deep-sea 
turtle of a surety, for the nearest land was a thousand 
miles away. We put the Snark about and went back 

for him, Hermann driving 
the granes into his head 
and neck. When hauled 
aboard, numerous remora 
were clinging to his shell, 
and out of the hollows at 
the roots of his flippers 
crawled several large crabs. 
It did not take the crew of 
the Snark longer than the 
next meal to reach the unan- 
imous conclusion that it 
would willingly put the 
Snark about any time for 
a turtle. 

But it is the dolphin 
that is the king of deep-sea 
fishes. Never is his color 
twice quite the same. Swimming in the sea, an ethe- 
real creature of palest azure, he displays in that one 
guise a miracle of color. But it is nothing compared 
with the displays of which he is capable. At one 
time he will appear green — pale green, deep green, 
phosphorescent green; at another time blue — deep 
blue, electric blue, all the spectrum of blue. Catch 
him on a hook, and he turns to gold, yellow gold, all 
gold. Haul him on deck, and he excels the spectrum, 
passing through inconceivable shades of blues, greens, 

A Four-foot Seven-inch Dolphin. 

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and yellows, and then, suddenly, turning a ghostly 
white, in the midst of which are bright blue spots, and 
you suddenly discover that he is speckled like a trout. 
Then back from white he goes, through all the range 
of colors, finally turning to a mother-of-pearl. 

For those who are devoted to fishing, I can recom- 
mend no finer sport than catching dolphin. Of course, 
it must be done on a thin line with reel and pole. A 
No. 7, O'Shaughnessy tarpon hook is just the thing, 
baited with an entire flying-fish. Like the bonita, the 
dolphin's fare consists of flying-fish, and he strikes like 
lightning at the bait. The first warning is when the 
reel screeches and you see the line smoking out at 
right angles to the boat. Before you have time to 
entertain anxiety concerning the length of your line, 
the fish rises into the air in a succession of leaps. 
Since he is quite certain to be four feet long or over, 
the sport of landing so gamey a fish can be realized. 
When hooked, he invariably turns golden. The idea 
of the series of leaps is to rid himself of the hook, 
and the man who has made the strike must be of iron 
or decadent if his heart does not beat with an extra 
flutter when he beholds such gorgeous fish, glittering 
in golden mail and shaking itself like a stallion in each 
mid-air leap. 'Ware slack ! If you don't, on one of 
those leaps the hook will be flung out and twenty feet 
away. No slack, and away he will go on another run, 
culminating in another series of leaps. About this 
time one begins to worry over the line, and to wish 
that he had had nine hundred feet on the reel origi- 
nally instead of six hundred. With careful playing the 
line can be saved, and after an hour of keen excitement 
the fish can be brought to gaff. One such dolphin I 

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landed on the Snark measured four feet and seven 

Hermann caught dolphins more prosaically. A 
hand-line and a chunk of shark-meat was all he needed. 
His hand-line was very thick, but on more than one 
occasion it parted and lost the fish. One day a doK 
phin got away with a lure of Hermann's manufacture, 
to which were lashed four O'Shaughnessy hooks. 
Within an hour the same dolphin was landed with the 
rod, and on dissecting him the four hooks were re- 
covered. The dolphins, which remained with us over 
a month, deserted us north of the line, and not one 
was seen during the remainder of the traverse. 

So the days passed. There was so much to be done 
that time never dragged. Had there been little to do, 
time could not have dragged with such wonderful sea- 
iscapes and cloudscapes — dawns that were like burning 
imperial cities under rainbows that arched nearly to the 
zenith ; sunsets that bathed the purple sea in rivers of 
rose-colored light, flowing from a sun whose diverging, 
heaven-climbing rays were of the purest blue. Overside, 
in the heat of the day, the sea was an azure satiny fabric, 
in the depths of which the sunshine focussed in funnels 
of light. Astern, deep down, when there was a breeze, 
bubbled a procession of milky-turquoise ghosts — the 
foam flung down by the hull of the Snark each time 
she floundered against a sea. At night the wake was 
phosphorescent fire, where the medusa slime resented 
our passing bulk, while far down could be observed 
the unceasing flight of comets, with long, undulating, 
nebulous tails — caused by the passage of the bonitas 
through the resentful medusa slime. And now and 
again, from out of the darkness on either hand, just 

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under the surface, larger phosphorescent organisms 
flashed up like electric lights, marking collisions with 
the careless bonitas skurrying ahead to the good hunt- 
ing just beyond our bowsprit. 

We made our easting, worked down through the 
doldrums, and caught a fresh breeze out of south-by- 
west. Hauled up by the wind, on such a slant, we 
would fetch past the Marquesas far away to the west- 
ward. But the next day, on Tuesday, November 26, 
in the thick of a heavy squall, the wind shifted sud- 
denly to the southeast. It was the trade at last. 
There were no more squalls, naught but fine weather, 
a fair wind, and a whirling log, with sheets slacked off 
and with spinnaker and mainsail swaying and bellying 
on either side. The trade backed more and more, 
until it blew out of the northeast, while we steered a 
steady course to the southwest. Ten days of this, and 
on the morning of December 6, at five o'clock, we 
sighted land "just where it ought to have been," dead 
ahead. We passed to leeward of Ua-huka, skirted the 
southern edge of Nuka-hiva, and that night, in driving 
squalls and inky darkness, fought our way in to an 
anchorage in the narrow bay of Taiohae. The anchor 
rumbled down to the blatting of wild goats on the 
cliffs, and the air we breathed was heavy with the per- 
fume of flowers. The traverse was accomplished. 
Sixty days from land to land, across a lonely sea above 
whose horizons never rise the straining sails of ships. 

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To the eastward Ua-huka was being blotted out by 
an evening rain-squall that was fast overtaking the 
Snark, But that little craft, her big spinnaker filled 
by the southeast trade, was making a good race of it. 
Cape Martin, the southeastern most point of Nuku-hiva, 
was abeam, and Comptroller Bay was opening up as 
we fled past its wide entrance, where Sail Rock, for all 
the world like the spritsail of a Columbia River salmon- 
boat, was making brave weather of it in the smashing 
southeast swell. 

" What do you make that out to be ? " I asked 
Hermann, at the wheel. 

"A fishing-boat, sir," he answered after careful 

Yet on the chart it was plainly marked, " Sail Rock." 

But we were more interested in the recesses of 
Comptroller Bay, where our eyes eagerly sought out 
the three bights of land and centred on the midmost 
one, where the gathering twilight showed the dim walls 
of a valley extending inland. How often we had pored 
over the chart and centred always on that midmost 
bight and on the valley it opened — the Valley of Ty- 
pee. " Taipi " the chart spelled it, and spelled it cor- 
rectly, but I prefer "Typee," and I shall always spell 
it " Typee." When I was a little boy, I read a book 
spelled in that manner — Herman Melville's " Typee " ; 
and many long hours I dreamed over its pages. Nor 


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was it all dreaming. I resolved there and then, might- 
ily, come what would, that when I had gained strength 
and years, I, too, would voyage to Typee. For the won- 
der of the world was penetrating to my tiny conscious- 


ness — the wonder that was to lead me to many lands, 
and that leads and never palls. The years passed, but 
Typee was not forgotten. Returned to San Francisco 
from a seven months' cruise in the North Pacific, I 
decided the time had come. The brig Galilee was 
sailing for the Marquesas, but her crew was complete 

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and I, who was an able seaman before the mast and 
young enough to be overweeningly proud of it, was 
willing to condescend to ship as cabin-boy in order to 
make the pilgrimage to Typee. Of course, the Galilee 
would have sailed from the Marquesas without me, 
for I was bent on finding another Fayaway and another 
Kory-Kory. I doubt that the captain read desertion 
in my eye. Perhaps even the berth of cabin-boy was 
already filled. At any rate, I did not get it. 

Then came the rush of years, filled brimming with 
projects, achievements, and failures ; but Typee was 
not forgotten, and here I was now, gazing at its misty 
outlines till the squall swooped down and the Snark 
dashed on into the driving smother. Ahead, we 
caught a glimpse and took the compass bearing of 
Sentinel Rock, wreathed with pounding surf Then 
it, too, was eflFaced by the rain and darkness. We 
steered straight for it, trusting to hear the sound of 
breakers in time to sheer clear. We had to steer for 
it. We had naught but a compass bearing with which 
to orientate ourselves, and if we missed Sentinel Rock, 
we missed Taiohae Bay, and we would have to throw 
the Snark up to the wind and lie off and on the whole 
night — no pleasant prospect for voyagers weary from 
a sixty days* traverse of the vast Pacific solitude, and 
land-hungry, and fruit-hungry, and hungry with an 
appetite of years for the sweet vale of Typee. 

Abruptly, with a roar of sound. Sentinel Rock 
loomed through the rain dead ahead. We altered our 
course, and, with mainsail and spinnaker bellying to 
the squall, drove past. Under the lee of the rock the 
wind dropped us, and we rolled in an absolute calm. 
Then a puff of air struck us, right in our teeth, out of 

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TYPEE . , 157 

Taiohae Bay. It was in spinnaker, up mizzen, all 
sheets by the wind, and we were moving slowly ahead, 
heaving the lead and straining our eyes for the fixed 
red light on the ruined fort that would give us our 
bearings to anchorage. The air was light and baffling, 
now east, now west, now north, now south; while 
from either hand came the roar of unseen breakers. 
From the looming cliflfe arose the blattinc of wild 
goats, and overhead the first stars were peeping mistily 
through the ragged train of the passing squall. At 
the end of two hours, having come a mile into the bay, 
we dropped anchor in eleven fathoms. And so we 
came to Taiohae. 

In the morning we awoke in fairyland. The Snark 
rested in a placid harbor that nestled in a vast amphi- 
theatre, the towering, vine-clad walls of which seemed 
to rise directly from the water. Far up, to the east, 
we glimpsed the thin line of a trail, visible in one 
place, where it scoured across the face of the wall. 

" The path by which Toby escaped fi-om Typee ! " 
we cried. 

We were not long in getting ashore and astride 
horses, though the consummation of our pilgrimage had 
to be deferred for a day. Two months at sea, bare- 
footed all the time, without space in which to exercise 
one's limbs, is not the best preliminary to leather shoes 
and walking. Besides, the land had to cease its nau- 
seous rolling before we could feel fit for riding goat- 
like horses over giddy trails. So we took a short ride 
to break in, and crawled through thick jungle to make 
the acquaintance of a venerable moss-grown idol, where 
had foregathered a German trader and a Norwegian 
captain to estimate the weight of said idol, and to 

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speculate upon depreciation in value caused by sawing 
him in half. They treated the old fellow sacrilegiously, 
digging their knives into him to see how hard he was 
and how deep his mossy mantle, and commanding him 

The Goddess of the Pool. 

to rise up and save them trouble by walking down to 
the ship himself. In lieu of which, nineteen Kanakas 
slung him on a frame of timbers and toted him to the 
ship, where, battened down under hatches, even now 
he is cleaving the South Pacific Horn ward and toward 
Europe — the ultimate abiding-place for all good 

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TYPEE 159 

heathen idols, save for the few in America and one 
in particular who grins beside me as I write, and who, 
barring shipwreck, will grin somewhere in my neigh- 
borhood until I die. And he will win out. He will 
be grinning when I am dust. 

Also, as a preliminary, we attended a feast, where 
one Taiara Tamarii, the son of an Hawaiian sailor who 
deserted from a whaleship, commemorated the death 
of his Marquesan mother by roasting fourteen whole 
hogs and inviting in the village. So we came along, 
welcomed by a native herald, a young girl, who stood 
on a great rock and chanted the information that the 
banquet was made perfect by our presence — which 
information she extended impartially to every arrival. 
Scarcely were we seated, however, when she changed 
her tune, while the company manifested intense excite- 
ment. Her cries became eager and piercing. From a 
distance came answering cries, in men's voices, which 
blended into a wild, barbaric chant that sounded in- 
credibly savage, smacking of blood and war. Then, 
through vistas of tropical foliage appeared a procession 
of savages, naked save for gaudy loin-cloths. They 
advanced slowly, uttering deep gutteral cries of 
triumph and exaltation. Slung from young saplings 
carried on their shoulders were mysterious objects of 
considerable weight, hidden from view by wrappings 
of green leaves. 

Nothing but pigs, innocently fat and roasted to a turn, 
were inside those wrappings, but the men were carry- 
ing them into camp in imitation of old times when 
they carried in " long-pig." Now long-pig is not pig. 
Long-pig is the Polynesian euphemism for human 
flesh ; and these descendants of man-eaters, a king's 

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son at their head, brought in the pigs to table as of 
old their grandfathers had brought in their slain 
enemies. Every now and then the procession halted 
in order that the bearers should have every advantage 
in uttering particularly ferocious shouts of victory, of 
contempt for their enemies, and of gustatory desire. 
So Melville, two generations ago, witnessed the bodies 
of slain Happar warriors, wrapped in palm-leaves, car- 
ried to banquet at the Ti. At another time, at the 
Ti, he " observed a curiously carved vessel of wood," 
and on looking into it his eyes " fell upon the disor- 
dered members of a human skeleton, the bones still 
fresh with moisture, and with particles of flesh clinging 
to them here and there." 

Cannibalism has often been regarded as a fairy story 
by ultracivilized men, who dislike, perhaps, the notion 
that their own savage forebears have somewhere in the 
past been addicted to similar practices. Captain Cook 
was rather sceptical upon the subject, until, one day, 
in a harbor of New Zealand, he deliberately tested the 
matter. A native happened to h^ve brought on board, 
for sale, a nice, sun-dried head. At Cook's orders 
strips of the flesh were cut away and handed to the 
native, who greedily devoured them. To say the 
least. Captain Cook was a rather thoroughgoing empiri- 
cist. At any rate, by that act he supplied one ascer- 
tained fact of which science had been badly in need. 
Little did he dream of the existence of a certain group 
of islands, thousands of miles away, where in subse- 
quent days there would arise a curious suit at law, 
when an old chief of Maui would be charged with 
defamation of character because he persisted in assert- 
ing that his body was the living repository of Captain 

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TYPEE i6i 

Cook's great toe. It is said that the plaintifFs failed 
to prove that the old chief was not the tomb of the 
navigator's great toe, and that the suit was dismissed. 

I suppose I shall not have the chance in these 
degenerate days to. see any long-pig eaten, but at 
least I am already the possessor of a duly certified 
Marquesan calabash, oblong in shape, curiously 
carved, over a century old, from which ha^ been 
drunk the blood of two shipmasters. One of those 
captains was a mean man. He sold a decrepit whale- 
boat, as good as new what of the fresh white paint, 
t0 a Marquesan chief But no sooner had the cap- 
tain sailed away than the whale-boat dropped to pieces. 
It was his fortune, some time afterward, to be wrecked, 
of all places, on that particular island. The Marque- 
san chief was ignorant of rebates and discounts ; but he 
had a primitive sense of equity and an equally primi- 
tive conception of the economy of nature, and he 
balanced the account by eating the man who had 
cheated him. 

We started in the cool dawn for Typee, astride fero- 
cious little stallions that pawed and screamed and bit 
and fought one another quite oblivious of the fragile 
humans on their backs and of the slippery boulders, 
loose rocks, and yawning gorges. The way led up an 
ancient road through a jungle of hau trees. On every 
side were the vestiges of a one-time dense population. 
Wherever the eye could penetrate the thick growth, 
glimpses were caught of stone walls and of stone founda- 
tions, six to eight feet in height, built solidly through- 
out, and many yards in width and depth. They formed 
great stone platforms, upon which, at one time, there 
had been houses. But the houses and the people were 

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gone, and huge trees sank their roots through the plat- 
forms and towered over the under-running jungle. 
These foundations are called pae-paes — the pi-pis of 
Melville, who spelled phonetically. 

The Tropics — after the Advent of Morality. 

The Marquesans of the present generation lack the 
energy to hoist and place such huge stones. Also, they 
lack incentive. There are plenty of pae-paes to go 
around, with a few thousand unoccupied ones left over. 
Once or twice, as we ascended the valley, we saw m^Lgmfi- 
ctnt pae-paes bearing on their general surface pitiful little 

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TYPEE 163 

straw huts, the proportions being similar to a voting booth 
perched on the broad foundation of the pyramid of Cheops. 
For the Marquesans are perishing, and, to judge from 
conditions at Taiohae, the one thing that retards their 
destruction is the infusion of fresh blood. A pure 
Marquesan is a rarity. They seem to be all half-breeds 
and strange conglomerations of dozens of different races. 
Nineteen able laborers are all the trader at Taiohae 
can muster for the loading of copra on shipboard, and 
in their veins runs the blood of English, American, 
Dane, German, French, Corsican, Spanish, Portuguese 
Chinese, Hawaiian, Paumotan, Tahitian, and Easter 
I slander. There are more races than there are persons, but 
it is a wreckage of races at best. Life faints and stumbles 
and gasps itself away. In this warm, equable clime — 
a truly terrestrial paradise — where are never extremes 
of temperature and where the air is like balm, kept ever 
pure by the ozone-laden southeast trade, asthma, phthisis, 
and tuberculosis flourish as luxuriantly as the vegeta- 
tion. Everywhere, from the few grass huts, arises the 
racking cough or exhausted groan of wasted lungs. 
Other horrible diseases prosper as well, but the most 
deadly of all are those that attack the lungs. There is 
a form of consumption called " galloping," which is 
especially dreaded. In two months' time it reduces 
the strongest man to a skeleton under a grave-cloth. 
In valley after valley the last inhabitant has passed and 
the fertile soil has relapsed to jungle. In Melville's 
day the valley of Hapaa (spelled by him " Happar") 
was peopled by a strong and warlike tribe. A genera- 
tion later, it contained but two hundred persons. To- 
day it is an untenanted, howling, tropical wilderness. 
We climbed higher and higher in the valley, our 

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unshod stallions picking their steps on the disintegrat- 
ing trail, which led in and out tlirough the abandoned 
pae-paes and insatiable jungle. The sight of red 
mountain apples, the ohias^ familiar to us from Hawaii, 

A Cocoanut Grove. 

caused a native to be sent climbing after them. And 
again he climbed for cocoanuts. I have drunk the 
cocoanuts of Jamaica and of Hawaii, but I never knew 
how delicious such draught could be till I drank it 
here in the Marquesas. Occasionally we rode under 
wild limes and oranges — great trees which had survived 

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TYPEE 165 

the wilderness longer than the motes of humans who 
had cultivated them. 

We rode through endless thickets of yellow-pollened 
cassi — if riding it could be called; for those fragrant 
thickets were inhabited by wasps. And such wasps ! 
Great yellow fellows the size of small canary birds, 
darting through the air with behind them drifting a 
bunch of legs a couple of inches long. A stallion 
abruptly stands on his forelegs and thrusts his hind- 
legs skyward. He withdraws them from the sky long 
enough to make one wild jump ahead, and then returns 
them to their index position. It is nothing. His 
thick hide has merely been punctured by a flaming 
lance of wasp virility. Then a second and a third 
stallion, and all the stallions, begin to cavort on their 
forelegs over the precipitous landscape. Swat ! A 
white-hot poniard penetrates my cheek. Swat again ! 
I am stabbed in the neck. I am bringing up the rear 
and getting more than my share. There is no retreat, 
and the plunging horses ahead, on a precarious trail, 
promise little safety. My horse overruns Charmian's 
horse, and that sensitive creature, fresh-stung at the 
psychological moment, planks one of his hoofs into my 
horse and the other hoof into me. I thank my stars 
that he is not steel-shod, and half-arise from the saddle 
at the impact of another flaming dagger. I am certainly 
getting more than my share, and so is my poor horse, 
whose pain and panic are only exceeded by mine. 

" Get out of the way ! I'm coming ! " I shout, 
frantically dashing my cap at the winged vipers around 

On one side of the trail the landscape rises straight 
up. On the other side it sinks straight down. The 

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only way to get out of my way is to keep on going. 
How that string of horses kept their feet is a miracle ; 
but they dashed ahead, over-running one another, gal- 
loping, trotting, stumbling, jumping, scrambling, and 

The Camera in the Marquesas. 

kicking methodically skyward every time a wasp landed 
on them. After a while we drew breath and counted 
our injuries. And this happened not once, nor twice, 
but time after time. Strange to say, it never grew 
monotonous. I know that I, for one, came through 
each brush with the undiminished zest of a man flying 

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TYPEE 167 

from sudden death. No ; the pilgrim from Taiohae 
to Typee will never suffer from ennui on the way. 

At last we arose above the vexation of wasps. It 
was a matter of altitude, however, rather than of forti- 
tude. All about us lay the jagged back-bones of 
ranges, as far as the eye could see, thrusting their pin- 
nacles into the trade-wind clouds. Under us, from the 
way we had come, the Snark lay like a tiny toy on the 
calm water of Taiohae Bay. Ahead we could see 
the inshore indentation of Comptroller Bay. We 
dropped down a thousand feet, and Typee lay beneath . 
us. " Had a glimpse of the gardens of paradise been 
revealed to me I could scarcely have been more ravished 
with the sight" — so said Melville on the moment of 
his first view of the valley. He saw a garden. We 
saw a wilderness. Where were the hundred groves of 
the breadfruit tree he saw ? We saw jungle, nothing 
but jungle, with the exception of two grass huts and 
several clumps of cocoanuts breaking the primordial 

freen mantle. Where was the Ti of Mehevi, the 
achelors' hall, the palace where women were taboo, 
and where he ruled with his lesser chieftains, keeping 
the half-dozen dusty and torpid ancients to remind them 
of the valorous past ? From the swift stream no sounds 
arose of maids and matrons pounding tapa. And 
where was the hut that old Narheyo eternally builded ? 
In vain I looked for him perched ninety feet from the 
ground in some tall cocoanut, taking his morning smoke. 
We went down a zigzag trail under overarching, 
matted jungle, where great butterflies drifted by in the 
silence. No tattooed savage with club and javelin 
guarded the path ; and when we forded the stream, we 
were free to roam where we pleased. No longer did 

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the taboo, sacred and merciless, reign in that sweet vale. 
Nay, the taboo still did reign, a new taboo, for when 
we approached too near the several wretched native 
women, the taboo was uttered warningly. And it was 

^ - 

Under the Banana Tree. 

well. They were lepers. The man who warned us was 
afflicted horribly with elephantiasis. All were suffering 
from lung trouble. The valley of Typee was the abode 
of death, and the dozen survivors of the tribe were 
gasping feebly the last painful breaths of the race. 
Certainly the battle had not been to the strong, for 

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TYPEE 169 

once the Typeans were very strong, stronger than the 
Happars, stronger than the Taiohaeans, stronger than 
all the tribes of Nuku-hiva. The word " typee/' or, 
rather, " taipi," originally signified an eater or human 
flesh. But since all the Marquesans were human-flesh 
eaters, to be so designated was the token that the 
Typeans were the human-flesh eaters par excellence. 
Not alone to Nuku-hiva did the Typean reputation for 
bravery and ferocity extend. In all the islands of the 
Marquesas the Typeans were named with dread. 
Man could not conquer them. Even the French fleet 
that took possession of the Marquesas left the Typeans 
alone. Captain Porter, of the frigate Essex, once in- 
vaded the valley. His sailors and marines were reen- 
forced by two thousand warriors of Happar and 
Taiohae. They penetrated quite a distance into the 
valley, but met with so fierce a resistance that they 
were glad to retreat and get away in their flotilla of 
boats and war-canoes. 

Of all inhabitants of the South Seas, the Marquesans 
were adjudged the strongest and the most beautiful. 
Melville said of them : "I was especially struck by the 
physical strength and beauty they displayed. ... In 
beauty of form they surpassed anything I had ever 
seen. Not a single instance of natural deformity was 
observable in all the throng attending the revels. . . . 
Every individual appeared free from those blemishes 
which sometimes mar the eflTect of an otherwise perfect 
form. But their physical excellence did not merely 
consist in an exemption from these evils; nearly every 
individual of their number might have been taken for 
a sculptor^s model." Mendafia, the discoverer of the 
Marquesas, described the natives as wondrously beau- 

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tiful to behold. Figueroa, the chronicler of his voyage, 
said of them : " In complexion they were nearly white; 
of good stature and finely formed." Captain Cook 
called the Marquesans the most splendid islanders in 
the South Seas. The men were described as "in al- 
most every instance of lofty stature, scarcely ever less 
than six feet in height." 

And now all this strength and beauty has departed, 
and the valley of Typee is the abode of some dozen 
wretched creatures, afflicted by leprosy, elephantiasis, 
and tuberculosis. Melville estimated the population 
at two thousand, not taking into consideration the small 
adjoining valley of Ho-o-umi. Life has rotted away in 
this wonderful garden spot, where the climate is as de- 
lightful and healthful as any to be found in the world. 
Not alone were the Typeans physically magnificent; 
they were pure. Their air did not contain the bacilli 
and germs and microbes of disease that fill our own air. 
And when the white men imported in their ships these 
various microorganisms of disease, the Typeans crum- 
pled up and went down before them. 

When one considers the situation, one is almost 
driven to the conclusion that the white race flourishes 
on impurity and corruption. Natural selection, how- 
ever, gives the explanation. We of the white race are 
the survivors and the descendants of the thousands of 
generations of survivors in the war with the micro- 
organisms. Whenever one of us was born with a con- 
stitution peculiarly receptive to these minute enemies, 
such a one promptly died. Only these of us survived 
who could withstand them. We who are alive are the 
immune, the fit — the ones best constituted to live in 
a world of hostile microorganisms. The poor Marque- 

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sans had undergone no such selection. They were not 
immune. And they, who had made a custom of eat- 
ing their enemies, were now eaten by enemies so micro- 
scopic as to be invisible, and against whom no war of 

Behind the Bulwark of the Reef. 

dart and javelin was possible. On the other hand, had 
there been a few hundred thousand Marquesans to be- 
gin with, there might have been sufficient survivors to 
lay the foundation for a new race — a regenerated race, 
if a plunge into a festering bath of organic poison can 
be called regeneration. 

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We unsaddled our horses for lunch, and after we 
had fought the stallions apart — mine with several 
fresh chunks bitten out of his back — and after we had 
vainly fought the sand-flies, we ate bananas and tinned 
meats, washed down by generous draughts of cocoanut 
milk. There was little to be seen. The jungle had 
rushed back and engulfed the puny works of man. 
Here and there pai-pais were to be stumbled upon, but 
there were no inscriptions, no hieroglyphics, no clews 
to the past they attested — only dumb stones, builded 
and carved by hands that were forgotten dust. Out 
of the pai'pais grew great trees, jealous of the wrought 
work of man, splitting and scattering the stones back 
into the primeval chaos. 

We gave up the jungle and sought the stream with 
the idea of evading the sand-flies. Vain hope ! To 
go in swimming one must take oflF his clothes. The 
sand-flies are aware of the fact, and they lurk by the 
river bank in countless myriads. In the native they 
are called the nau-nauy which is pronounced " now- 
now." They are certainly well named, for they are 
the insistent present. There is no past nor future 
when they fasten upon one's epidermis, and I am willing 
to wager that Omar Khayyam could never have written 
the Rubaiyat in the valley of Typee — it would have 
been psychologically impossible. I made the strategic 
mistake of undressing on the edge of a steep bank where 
I could dive in but could not climb out. When I was 
ready to dress, I had a hundred yards' walk on the 
bank before I could reach my clothes. At the first 
step, fully ten thousand nau-naus landed upon me. 
At the second step I was walking in a cloud. By the 
third step the sun was dimmed in the sky. After that 

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TYPEE 173 

I don't know what happened. When I arrived at my 
clothes, I was a maniac. And here enters my grand 
tactical error. There is only one rule of conduct in 
dealing with nau-naus. Never swat them. Whatever 
you do, don't swat them. They are so vicious that in 
the instant of annihilation they eject their last atom 
of poison into your carcass. You must pluck them 
delicately, between thumb and forefinger, and persuade 
them gently to remove their proboscides from your 
quivering flesh. It is like pulling teeth. But the 
diflSculty was that the teeth sprouted faster than I could 
pull them, so I swatted, and, so doing, filled myself 
full with their poison. This was a week ago. At the 
present moment I resemble a sadly neglected smallpox 

Ho-o-u-mi is a small valley, separated from Typec 
by a low ridge, and thither we started when we had 
knocked our indomitable and insatiable riding-animals 
into submission. As it was, Warren's mount, after 
a mile run, selected the most dangerous part of 
the trail for an exhibition that kept us all on the 
anxious seat for fully five minutes. We rode by the 
mouth of Typee valley and gazed down upon the beach 
from which Melville escaped. There was where the 
whale-boat lay on its oars close in to the surf; and 
there was where Karakoee, the taboo Kanaka, stood in 
the water and traflicked for the sailor's life. There, 
surely, was where Melville gave Fayaway the parting 
embrace ere he dashed for the boat. And there was 
the point of land from which Mehevi and Mow-mow 
and their following swam off to intercept the boat, only 
to have their wrists gashed by sheath-knives when 
they laid hold of the gunwale, though it was reserved 

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for Mow-mow to receive the boat-hook full in the 
throat from Mejville's hands. 

We rode on to Ho-o-u-mi. So closely was Mel- 
ville guarded that he never dreamed of the existence 

One of the Last of a Mighty Race. 

of this valley, though he must continually have met its 
inhabitants, for they belonged to Typee. We rode 
through the same abandoned pae-paes^ but as we neared 
the sea we found a profusion of cocoanuts, breadfruit 
trees, and taro patches, and fully a dozen grass dwell- 
ings. In one of these we arranged to pass the night, 

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TYPEE 175 

and preparations were immediately put on foot for a 
feast. A young pig was promptly despatched, and 
while he was being roasted among hot stones, and white 
chickens were stewing in cocoanut milk, I persuaded 
one of the cooks to climb an unusually tall cocoanut 
palm. The cluster of nuts at the top was fully one 
hundred and twenty-five feet from the ground, but 
that native strode up to the tree, seized it in both 
hands, jack-knived at the waist so that the soles of his 
feet rested flatly against the trunk, and then he walked 
right straight up without stopping. There were no 
notches in the tree. He had no ropes to help him. 
He merely walked up the tree, one hundred and 
twenty-five feet in the air, and cast down the nuts from 
the summit. Not every man there had the physical 
stamina for such a feat, or the lungs, rather, for most 
of them were coughing their lives away. Some of the 
women kept up a ceaseless moaning and groaning, so 
badly were their lungs wasted. Very few of either sex 
were full-blooded Marquesans. They were mostly 
half-breeds and three-quarter-breeds of French, Eng- 
lish, Danish, and Chinese extraction. At the best, 
these infusions of fresh blood merely delayed the pass- 
ing, and the results led one to wonder whether it was 
worth while. 

The feast was served on a broad pae-pae^ the rear 
portion of which was occupied by the house in which 
we were to sleep. The first course was raw fish and 
poi-poij the latter sharp and more acrid of taste than 
the pot of Hawaii, which is made from taro. The 
pot'poi of the Marquesas is made from breadfruit. 
The ripe fruit, after the core is removed, is placed in a 
calabash and pounded with a stone pestle into a stiff. 

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Digitized by VjOOQ IC 

TYPEE 177 

sticky paste. In this stage of the process, wrapped in 
leaves, it can be buried in the ground where it will 
keep for years. Before it can be eaten, however, 
further processes are necessary. A leaf-covered pack- 
age is placed among hot stones, like the pig, and 
thoroughly baked. After that it is mixed with cold 
water and thinned out — not thin enough to run, but 
thin enough to be eaten by sticking one's first and 
second fingers into it. On close acquaintance it proves 
a pleasant and most healthful food. And breadfruit, 
ripe and well boiled or roasted ! It is delicious. 
Breadfruit and taro are kingly vegetables, the pair of 
them, though the former is patently a misnomer and 
more resembles a sweet potato then anything else, 
though it is not mealy like a sweet potato, nor is it so 

The feast ended, we watched the moon rise over 
Typee. The air was like balm, faintly scented with 
the breath of flowers. It was a magic night, deathly 
still, without the slightest breeze to stir the foliage; 
and one caught one's breath and felt the pang that is 
almost hurt, so exquisite was the beauty of it. Faint 
and far could be heard the thin thunder of the surf 
upon the beach. There were no beds ; and we drowsed 
and slept wherever we thought the floor softest. Near 
by, a woman panted and moaned in her sleep, and all 
about us the dying islanders coughed in the night. 

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The Nature Man 

I FIRST met him on Market Street in San Francisco. 
It was a wet and drizzly afternoon, and he was strid- 
ing along, clad solely in a pair of abbreviated knee- 
trousers and an abbreviated shirt, his bare feet going 
slick-slick through the pavement-slush. At his heels 
trooped a score of excited gamins. Every head — and 
there were thousands — turned to glance curiously at 
him as he went by. And I turned, too. Never had I 
seen such lovely sunburn. He was all sunburn, of the 
sort a blond takes on when his skin does not peel. 
His long yellow hair was burnt, so was his beard, which 
sprang from a soil unploughed by any razor. He was 
a tawny man, a golden-tawny man, all glowing and 
radiant with the sun. Another prophet, thought I, 
come up to town with a message that will save the 

A few weeks later I was with some friends in their 
bungalow in the Piedmont hills overlooking San 
Francisco Bay. "We've got him, we've got him," 
they barked. " We caught him up a tree ; but he's all 
right now, he'll feed from the hand. Come on and see 
him." So I accompanied them up a dizzy hill, and in 
a rickety shack in the midst of a eucalyptus grove 
found my sunburned prophet of the city pavements. 

He hastened to meet us, arriving in the whirl and 
blur of a handspring. He did not shake hands with 
us ; instead, his greeting took the form of stunts. He 


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turned more handsprings. He twisted his body sinu- 
ously, like a snake, until, having sufficiently limbered 
up, he bent from the hips, and, with legs straight and 
knees touching, beat a tattoo on the ground with the 
palms of his hands. He whirligigged and pirouetted, 
dancing and cavorting round like an inebriated ape. 
All the sun-warmth of his ardent life beamed in his face. 
I am so happy, was the song without words he sang. 

He sang it all evening, ringing the changes on it 
with an endless variety of stunts. " A fool ! a fool ! I 
met a fool in the forest ! " thought I. And a worthy 
fool he proved. Between handsprings and whirligigs 
he delivered his message that would save the world. 
It was twofold. First, let suffering humanity strip 
off its clothing and run wild in the mountains and 
valleys ; and, second, let the very miserable world ♦ 
adopt phonetic spelling. I caught a glimpse of the 
great social problems being settled by the city popu- 
lations swarming naked over the landscape, to the 
popping of shot-guns, the barking of ranch-dogs, 
and countless assaults with pitchforks wielded by irate 

The years passed, and, one sunny morning, the 
Snark poked her nose into a narrow opening in a reef 
that smoked with the crashing impact of the trade-wind 
swell, and beat slowly up Papeete harbor. Coming 
off to us was a boat, flying a yellow flag. We knew 
it contained the port doctor. But quite a distance off, 
in its wake, was a tiny outrigger canoe that puzzled 
us. It was flying a red flag. I studied it through the 
glasses, fearing that it marked some hidden danger to 
navigation, some recent wreck or some buoy or beacon 
that had been swept away. Then the doctor came on 

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board. After he had examined the state of our health 
and been assured that we had no live rats hidden away 
in the Snarky I asked him the meaning of the red flag. 
" Oh, that is Darling," was the answer. 

And then Darling, Ernest Darling, flying the red 
flag that is indicative of the brotherhood of man, 

The Nature Man comes on Board the Snark. 

hailed us. "Hello, Jack!" he called. "Hello, 
Charmian ! " He paddled swiftly nearer, and I saw 
that he was the tawny prophet of the Piedmont hills. 
He came over the side, a sun-god clad in a scarlet 
loin-cloth, with presents of Arcady and greeting in 
both his hands — a bottle of golden honey and a leaf- 
basket filled with great golden mangoes, golden bananas 

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specked with freckles of deeper gold, golden pine- 
apples and golden limes, and juicy oranges minted from 
the same precious ore of sun and soil. And in this 
fashion, under the southern sky, I met once more 
Darling, the Nature Man. 

Tahiti is one of the most beautiful spots in the 
world, inhabited by thieves and robbers and liars, also 
by several honest and truthful men and women. 
Wherefore, because of the blight cast upon Tahiti's 
wonderful beauty by the spidery human vermin that 
infest it, I am minded to write, not of Tahiti, but of 
the Nature Man. He, at least, is refreshing and 
wholesome. The spirit that emanates from him is so 
gentle and sweet that it would harm nothing, hurt no- 
body's feelings save the feelings of a predatory and 
plutocratic capitalist. 

" What does this red flag mean ? " I asked. 

" Socialism, of course." 

" Yes, yes, I know that," I went on ; " but what 
does it mean in your hands ? " 

" Why, that I've found my message." 

" And that you are delivering it to Tahiti ? " I de- 
manded incredulously. 

" Sure," he answered simply ; and later on I found 
that he was, too. 

When we dropped anchor, lowered a small boat into 
the water, and started ashore, the Nature Man joined us. 
Now, thought I, I shall be pestered to death by this 
crank. Waking or sleeping I shall never be quit of him 
until I sail away from here. 

But never in my life was I more mistaken. I took 
a house and went to live and work in it, and the Na- 
ture Man never came near me. He was waiting for 

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the invitation. In the meantime he went aboard the 
Snark and took possession of her library, delighted by 
the quantity of scientific books, and shocked, as I 
learned afterward, by the inordinate amount of fiction. 
The Nature Man never wastes time on fiction. 

After a week or so, my conscience smote me, and I 
invited him to dinner at a downtown hotel. He arrived, 
looking unwontedly stiff and uncomfortable in a cotton 
jacket. When invited to peel it off, he beamed his 
gratitude and joy, and did so, revealing his sun-gold 
skin, from waist to shoulder, covered only by a piece 
of fish-net of coarse twine and large of mesh. A scar- 
let loin-cloth completed his costume. I began my 
acquaintance with him that night, and during my long 
stay in Tahiti that acquaintance ripened into friendship. 

" So you write books," he said, one day when, tired 
and sweaty, I finished my morning's work. 

" I, too, write books," he announced. 

Aha, thought I, now at last is he going to pester me 
with his literary efforts. My soul was in revolt. I 
had not come all the way to the South Seas to be a lit- 
erary bureau. 

" This is the book I write," he explained, smashing 
himself a resounding blow on the chest with his clenched 
fist. " The gorilla in the African jungle pounds his 
chest till the noise of it can be heard half a mile away." 

"A pretty good chest," quoth I, admiringly; "it 
would even make a gorilla envious." 

And then, and later, I learned the details of the 
marvellous book Ernest Darling had written. Twelve 
years ago he lay close to death. He weighed but 
ninety pounds, and was too weak to speak. The doc- 
tors had given him up. His father, a practicing physi- 

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cian, had given him up. Consultations with other 
physicians had been held upon him. There was no 
hope for him. Overstudy (as a school-teacher and as 
a university student) and two successive attacks of 
pneumonia were responsible for his breakdown. Day 
by day he was losing strength. He could extract no 
nutrition from the heavy foods they gave him ; nor 
could pellets and powders help his stomach to do the 
work of digestion. Not only was he a physical wreck, 
but he was a mental wreck. His mind was overwrought. 
He was sick and tired of medicine, and he was sick and 
tired of persons. Human speech jarred upon him. 
Human attentions drove him frantic. The thought 
came to him that since he was going to die, he might 
as well die in the open, away from all the bother and 
irritation. And behind this idea lurked a sneaking idea 
that perhaps he would not die after all if only he could 
escape from the heavy foods, the medicines, and the 
well-intentioned persons who made him frantic. 

So Ernest Darling, a bag of bones and a death's- 
head, a perambulating corpse, with just the dimmest 
flutter of life in it to make it perambulate, turned his 
back upon men and the habitations of men and dragged 
himself for five miles through the brush, away from the 
city of Portland, Oregon. Of course he was crazy. 
Only a lunatic would drag himself out of his death-bed. 

But in the brush. Darling found what he was look- 
ing for — rest. Nobody bothered him with beefsteaks 
and pork. No physicians lacerated his tired nerves by 
feeling his pulse, nor tormented his tired stomach with 
pellets and powders. He began to feel soothed. The 
sun was shining warm, and he basked in it. He had 
the feeling that the sunshine was an elixir of health. 

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Then it seemed to him that his whole wasted wreck of 
a body was crying for the sun. He stripped off his 
clothes and bathed in the sunshine. He felt better. 
It had done him good — the first relief in weary months 
of pain. 

As he grew better, he sat up and began to take no- 
tice. All about him were the birds fluttering and chirp- 
ing, the squirrels chattering and playing. He envied 
them their health and spirits, their happy, care-free ex- 
istence. That he should contrast their condition with 
his was inevitable ; and that he should question why 
they were splendidly vigorous while he was a feeble, 
dying wraith of a man, was likewise inevitable. His con- 
clusion was the very obvious one, namely, that they lived 
naturally, while he lived most unnaturally ; therefore, if 
he intended to live, he must return to nature. 

Alone, there in the brush, he worked out his prob- 
lem and began to apply it. He stripped off his cloth- 
ing and leaped and gambolled about, running on all fours, 
climbing trees; in snort, doing physical stunts,^and all 
the time soaking in the sunshine. He imitated the 
animals. He built a nest of dry leaves and grasses in 
which to sleep at night, covering it over with bark as 
a protection against the early fall rains. " Here is a 
beautiful exercise," he told me, once, flapping his arms 
mightily against his sides ; " I learned it from watching 
the roosters crow." Another time I remarked the 
loud, sucking intake with which he drank cocoanut- 
milk. He explained that he had noticed the cows 
drinking that way and concluded there must be some- 
thing in it. He tried it and found it good, and there- 
after he drank only in that fashion. 

He noted that the squirrels lived on fruits and nuts. 

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The Abbreviated Fish-net Shirt. 

He started on a fruit-and-nut diet, helped out by bread, 
and he grew stronger and put on weight. For three 
months he continued his primordial existence in the 
brush, and then the heavy Oregon rains drove him 

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back to the habitations of men. Not in three months 
could a ninety-pound survivor of two attacks of pneu- 
monia develop sufficient ruggedness to live through an 
Oregon winter in the open. 

He had accomplished much, but he had been driven 
in. There was no place to go but back to his father's 
house, and there, living in close rooms with lungs that 
panted for all the air of the open sky, he was brought 
down by a third attack of pneumonia. He grew weaker 
even than before. In that tottering tabernacle of flesh, 
his brain collapsed. He lay like a corpse, too weak to 
stand the fatigue of speaking, too irritated and tired in 
his miserable brain to care to listen to the speech of 
others. The only act of will of which he was capable 
was to stick his fingers in his ears and resolutely to re- 
fuse to hear a single word that was spoken to him. 
They sent for the insanity experts. He was adjudged 
insane, and also the verdict was given that he would 
not live a month. 

By one such mental expert he was carted off to a 
sanitarium on Mt. Tabor. Here, when they learned 
that he was harmless, they gave him his own way. 
They no longer dictated as to the food he ate, so he 
resumed his fruits and nuts — olive oil, peanut butter, 
and bananas the chief articles of his diet. As he re- 
gained his strength he made up his mind to live thence- 
forth his own life. If he lived like others, according 
to social conventions, he would surely die. And he 
did not want to die. The fear of death was one of the 
strongest factors in the genesis of the Nature Man. 
To live, he must have a natural diet, the open air, and 
the blessed sunshine. 

Now an Oregon winter has no inducements for those 

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who wish to return to Nature, so Darling started out 
in search of a climate. He mounted a bicycle and 
headed south for the sunlands. Stanford University 
claimed him for a year. Here he studied and worked 
his way, attending lectures in as scant garb as the au- 
thorities would allow and applying as much as possible 
the principles of living that he had learned in squirrel- 
town. His favorite method of study was to go off in 
the hills back of the University, and there to strip off 
his clothes and lie on the grass, soaking in sunshine and 
health at the same time that he soaked in knowledge. 

But Central California has her winters, and the quest 
for a Nature Man's climate drew him on. He tried Los 
Angeles and Southern California, being arrested a few 
times and brought before the insanity commissions be- 
cause, forsooth, his mode of life was not modelled after 
the mode of life of his fellow-men. He tried Hawaii, 
where, unable to prove him insane, the authorities de- 
ported him. It was not exactly a deportation. He 
could have remained by serving a year in prison. They 
gave him his choice. Now prison is death to the Na- 
ture Man, who thrives only in the open air and in God's 
sunshine. The authorities of Hawaii are not to be 
blamed. Darling was an undesirable citizen. Any 
man is undesirable who disagrees with one. And that 
any man should disagree to the extent Darling did in 
his philosophy of the simple life is ample vindication 
of the Hawaiian authorities' verdict of his undesirable- 

So Darling went thence in search of a climate which 
would not only be desirable, but wherein he would not 
be undesirable. And he found it, in Tahiti, the garden- 
spot of garden-spots. And so it was, according to the 

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The Nature Man's Plantation. 

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narrative as given, that he wrote the pages of his book. 
He wears only a loin-cloth and a sleeveless fish-net 
shirt. His stripped weight is one hundred and sixty- 
five pounds. His health is perfect. His eyesight, 
that at one time was considered ruined, is excellent. 
The lungs that were practically destroyed by three at- 
tacks of pneumonia, have not only recovered, but are 
stronger than ever before. 

I shall never forget the first time, while talking to 
me, that he squashed a mosquito. The stinging pest 
had settled in the middle of his back between his 
shoulders. Without interrupting the flow of conver- 
sation, without dropping even a syllable, his clenched 
fist shot up in the air, curved backward, and smote his 
back between the shoulders, killing the mosquito and 
making his frame resound like a bass drum. It re- 
minded me of nothing so much as of horses kicking 
the woodwork in their stalls. 

" The gorilla in the African jungle pounds his chest 
until the noise of it can be heard half a mile away," he 
will announce suddenly, and thereat beat a hair-raising, 
devil's tattoo on his own chest. 

One day he noticed a set of boxing-gloves hanging 
on the wall, and promptly his eyes brightened. 

" Do you box ? " I asked. 

" I used to give lessons in boxing when I was at 
Stanford," was the reply. 

And there and then we stripped and put on the 
gloves. Bang ! a long, gorilla arm flashed out, land- 
ing the gloved end on my nose. BifF! he caught me, 
in a duck, on the side of the head, nearly knocking 
me over sidewise. I carried the lump raised by that 
blow for a week. I ducked under a straight left, and 

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landed a straight right on his stomach. It was a fear- 
ful blow. The whole weight of my body was behind 
it, and his body had been met as it lunged forward. I 
looked for him to crumple up and go down. Instead 
of which his face beamed approval, and he said, " That 
was beautiful. " The next instant I was covering up 
and striving to protect myself from a hurricane of 
hooks, jolts, and uppercuts. Then I watched my 
chance and drove in tor the solar plexus. I hit the 
mark. The Nature Man dropped his arms, gasped, 
and sat down suddenly. 

" I'll be all right," he said. "Just wait a moment." 

And inside thirty seconds he was on his feet — ay, 
and returning the compliment, for he hooked me in 
the solar plexus, and I gasped, dropped my hands, 
and sat down just a trifle more suddenly than he had. 

All of which I submit as evidence that the man I 
boxed with was a totally different man from the poor, 
ninety-pound wight of eight years before, who, given 
up by physicians and alienists, lay gasping his life 
away in a closed room in Portland, Oregon. The 
book that Ernest Darling has written is a good book, 
and the binding is good, too. 

Hawaii has wailed for years her need for desirable 
immigrants. She has spent much time, and thought, 
and money, in importing desirable citizens, and she ' 
has, as yet, nothing much to show for it. Yet Hawaii j 
deported the Nature Man. She refused to give him a j 
chance. So it is, to chasten Hawaii's proud spirit, 
that I take this opportunity to show her what she has 
lost in the Nature Man. When he arrived in Tahiti, 
he proceeded to seek out a piece of land on which to 
grow the food he ate. But land was difficult to find 

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— that IS, inexpensive land. The Nature Man was 
not rolling in wealth. He spent weeks in wandering 
over the steep hills, until, high up the mountain, where 
clustered several tiny canyons, he found eighty acres 
of brush-jungle which were apparently unrecorded as 
the property of any one. The government officials 
told him that if he would clear the land and till it for 
thirty years he would be given a title for it. 

Immediately he set to work. And never was there 
such work. Nobody farmed that high up. The land 
was covered with matted jungle and overrun by wild 
pigs and countless rats. The view of Papeete and the 
sea was magnificent, but the outlook was not encourag- 
ing. He spent weeks in building a road in order to 
make the plantation accessible. The pigs and the rats 
ate up whatever he planted as fast as it sprouted. He 
shot the pigs and trapped the rats. Of the latter, in 
two weeks he caught fifteen hundred. Everything had 
to be carried up on his back. He usually did his 
packhorse work at night. 

Gradually he began to win out. A grass-walled 
house was built. On the fertile, volcanic soil he had 
wrested from the jungle and jungle beasts, were grow- 
ing five hundred cocoanut trees, five hundred papaia 
trees, three hundred mango trees, many breadfruit trees 
and alligator-pear trees, to say nothing of vines, bushes, 
and vegetables. He developed the drip of the hills in 
the canyons and worked out an efficient irrigation 
scheme, ditching the water from canyon to canyon and 
paralleling the ditches at diflFerent altitudes. His nar- 
row canyons became botanical gardens. The arid 
shoulders of the hills, where formerly the blazing sun 
had parched the jungle and beaten it close to earth. 

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blossomed ihto trees and shrubs and flowers. Not 
only had the Nature Man become self-supporting, but 
he was now a prosperous agriculturist with produce to 
sell to the city-dwellers of Papeete. 

Then it was discovered that his land, which the gov- 
ernment officials had informed him was without an 

In the Sweat of His Brow. 

owner, really had an owner, and that deeds, descrip- 
tions, etc., were on record. All his work bade fare to 
be lost. The land had been valueless when he took it 
up, and the owner, a large landholder, was unaware of 
the extent to which the Nature Man had developed it. 
A just price was agreed upon, and Darling's deed was 
officially filed. 

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Next came a more crushing blow. Darling's access 
to market was destroyed. The road he had built 
was fenced across by triple barb-wire fences. It was 
one of those jumbles in human affairs that is so com- 
mon in this absurdest of social systems. Behind it 
was the fine hand of the same conservative element 
that haled the Nature Man before the Insanity Com- 
mission in Los Angeles and that deported him from 
Hawaii. It is so hard for self-satisfied men to understand 
any man whose satisfactions are fundamentally dif- 
ferent. It seems clear that the officials have connived 
with the conservative element, for to this day the road 
the Nature Man built is closed ; nothing has been done 
about it, while an adamant unwillingness to do anything 
about it is evidenced on every hand. But the Nature Man 
dances and sings along his way. He does not sit up 
nights thinking about the wrong which has been done 
him ; he leaves the worrying to the doers of the wrong. 
He has no time for bitterness. He believes he is in 
the world for the purpose of being happy, and he has 
not a moment to waste in any other pursuit. 

The road to his plantation is blocked. He cannot 
build a new road, for there is no ground on which he can 
build it. The government has restricted him to a 
wild-pig trail which runs precipitously up the mountain. 
I climbed the trail with him, and we had to climb with 
hands and feet in order to get up. Nor can that wild- 
pig trail be made into a road by any amount of toil 
less than that of an engineer, a steam-engine, and a 
steel cable. But what does the Nature Man care? In 
his gentle ethics the evil men do him he requites with 
goodness. And who shall say he is not happier than they ? 

" Never mind their pesky road," he said to me as 

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we dragged ourselves up a shelf of rock and sat down, 
panting, to rest. "I'll get an air machine soon and fool 
them. I'm clearing a level space for a landing stage 
for the airships, and next time you come to Tahiti you 
will alight right at my door." 

Yes, the Nature Man has some strange ideas besides 
that of the gorilla pounding his chest in the African 
jungle. The Nature Man has ideas about levitation. 
"Yes, sir," he said to me, " levitation is not impossible. 
And think of the glory of it — lifting one's self from the 
ground by an act of will. Think of it ! The astron- 
omers tell us that our whole solar system is dying ; that, 
barring accidents, it will all be so cold that no life can live 
upon it. Very well. In that day all men will be ac- 
complished levitationists, and they will leave this perish- 
ing planet and seek more hospitable worlds. How can 
levitation be accomplished ? By progressive fasts. Yes, 
I have tried them, and toward the end I could feel my- 
self actually getting lighter." 

The man is a maniac, thought I. 

" Of course," he added, " these are only theories of 
mine. I like to speculate upon the glorious future of 
man. Levitation may not be possible, but I like to 
think of it as possible." 

One evening, when he yawned, I asked him how 
much sleep he allowed himself. 

" Seven hours," was the answer. " But in ten years 
I'll be sleeping only six hours, and in twenty years 
only five hours. You see, I shall cut off an hour's 
sleep every ten years." 

" Then when you are a hundred you won't be sleep- 
ing at all," I interjected. 

" Just that Exactly that* When I am a hundred 

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I shall not require sleep. Also, I shall be living on 
air. There are plants that live on air, you know." 

" But has any man ever succeeded in doing it ? " 

He shook is head. 

" I never heard of him if he did. But it is only a 
theory of mine, this living on air. It would be fine, 
wouldn't it ? Of course it may be impossible — most 
likely it is. You see, I am not unpractical. I never 
forget the present. When I soar ahead into the future, 
I always leave a string by which to find my way back 

I fear me the Nature Man is a joker. At any rate 
he lives the simple life. His laundry bill cannot be 
large. Up on his plantation he lives on fruit the labor 
cost of which, in cash, he estimates at five cents a day. 
At present, because of his obstructed road and because 
he is head over heels in the propaganda of socialism, 
he is living in town, where his expenses, including rent, 
are twenty-five cents a day. In order to pay those 
expenses he is running a night school for Chinese. 

The Nature Man is not bigoted. When there is 
nothing better to eat than meat, he eats meat, as, for 
instance, when in jail or on shipboard and the nuts and 
fruits give out. Nor does he seem to crystallize into 
anything except sunburn. 

" Drop anchor anywhere and the anchor will drag — 
that is, if your soul is a limitless, fathomless sea, arid 
not a dog-pound," he quoted to me, then added : " You 
see, my anchor is always dragging. I live for human 
health and progress, and I strive to drag my anchor 
always in that direction. To me, the two are identical. 
Dragging anchor is what has saved me. My anchor 
did not hold me to my death-bed. I dragged anchor 

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Breakfast from the Breadfruit Tree. 

into the brush and fooled the doctors. When I re- 
covered health and strength, I started, by preaching 
and by example, to teach the people to become nature 
men and nature women. But they had deaf ears. 

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Then, on the steamer coming to Tahiti, a quartermaster 
expounded socialism to me. He showed me that 
an economic square deal was necessary before men and 
women could live naturally. So I dragged anchor once 
more, and now I am working for the cooperative 
commonwealth. When that arrives, it will be easy to 
bring about nature living. 

" I had a dream last night," he went on thoughtfully, 
his face slowly breaking into a glow. "It seemed that 
twenty-five nature men and nature women had just 
arrived on the steamer from California, and that I was 
starting to go with them up the wild-pig trail to the 

Ah, me, Ernest Darling, sun-worshipper and nature 
man, there are times >yhen I am compelled to envy you 
and your care-free existence. I see you now, dancing 
up the steps and cutting antics on the veranda; 
your hair dripping from a plunge in the salt sea, your 
eyes sparkling, your sun-gilded body flashing, your 
chest resounding to the devil's own tattoo as you chant : 
"The gorilla in the African jungle pounds his chest 
until the noise of it can' be heard half a mile away." 
And I shall see you always as I saw you that last day, 
when the Snark poked her nose once more through 
the passage in the smoking reef, outward bound, and I 
waved good-by to those on shore. Not least in good- 
will and affection was the wave I gave to the golden 
sun-god in the scarlet loin-cloth, standing upright in 
his tmy outrigger canoe. 

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The High Seat of Abundance 

On the arrival of strangers, every man endeavored to obtain one 
as a friend and carry him ofF to his own habitation, where he is 
treated with the greatest kindness by the inhabitants of the district; 
they place him on a high seat and feed him with abundance of the 
finest food. 

Polynesian Researches. 

The Snark was lying at anchor at Raiatea, just off 
the village of Uturoa. She had arrived the night 
before, after dark, and we were preparing to pay our 
first visit ashore. Early in the morning I had noticed a 
tiny outrigger canoe, with an impossible spritsail, 
skimming the surface of the lagoon. The canoe 
itself was coffin-shaped, a mere dugout, fourteen feet 
long, a scant twelve inches wide, and maybe twenty- 
four inches deep. It had no lines, except in so far 
that it was sharp at both ends. Its sides were per- 
pendicular. Shorn of the outrigger, it would have 
capsized of itself inside a tenth of a second. It was 
the outrigger that kept it right side up. 

I have said that the sail was impossible. It was. 
It was one of those things, not that you have to see 
to believe, but that you cannot believe after you 
have seen it. The hoist of it and the length of its 
boom were sufficiently appalling; but, not content 
with that, its artificer had given it a tremendous 
head. So large was the head that no common sprit 
could carry the strain of it in an ordinary breeze. So 


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a spar had been lashed to the canoe, projecting aft 
over the water. To this had been made rast a sprit 
guy : thus, the foot of the sail was held by the main- 
sheet, and the peak by the guy to the sprit. 

It was not a mere boat, not a mere canoe, but a 
sailing machine. And the man in it sailed it by his 
weight and his nerve — principally by the latter. I 

"The sail was Impossible." 

watched the canoe beat up from leeward and run in 
toward the village, its sole occupant far out on the 
outrigger and luffing up and spilling the wind in the 

"Well, I know one thing," I announced ; " I don't 
leave Raiatea till I have a ride in that canoe." 

A few minutes later Warren called down the com- 
panion way, " Here's that canoe you were talking 

Promptly I dashed on deck and gave greeting to 
its owner, a tall, slender Polynesian, ingenuous of face, 

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and with clear, sparkling, intelligent eyes. He was 
clad in a scarlet loin-cloth and a straw hat. In his 
hands were presents — a fish, a bunch of greens, and 
several enormous yams. All of which acknowledged 
by smiles (which are coinage still in isolated spots of 
Polynesia) and by frequent repetitions of mauruuru 
(which is the Tahitian " thank you " ), I proceeded to 
make signs that I desired to go for a sail in his 

His face lighted with pleasure and he uttered the 
single word, " Tahaa," turning at the same time and 
pointing to the lofty, cloud-draped peaks of an island 
three miles away — the island of Tahaa. It was fair 
wind over, but a head- beat back. Now I did not want 
to go to Tahaa. I had letters to deliver in Raiatea, 
and officials to see, and there was Charmian down 
below getting ready to go ashore. By insistent signs 
I indicated that I desired no more than a short sail on 
the lagoon. Quick was the disappointment in his face, 
yet smiling was the acquiescence. 

"Come on for a sail," I called below to Charmian. 
" But put on your swimming suit. It's going to be 

It wasn't real. It was a dream. That canoe slid over 
the water like a streak of silver. I climbed out on the 
outrigger and supplied the weight to hold her down, 
while Tehei (pronounced Tayhayee) supplied the nerve. 
He, too, in the puffs, climbed part way out on the out- 
rigger, at the same time steering with both hands on a 
large paddle and holding the mainsheet with his foot. 

" Ready about ! " he called. 

I carefully shifted my weight inboard in order to 
maintain the equilibrium as the sail emptied. 

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" Hard a-lee ! " he called, shooting her into the 

I slid out on the opposite side over the water on a 
spar lashed across the canoe, and we were full and 
away on the other tack. 

" All right," said Tehei. 

Those three phrases, " Ready about," " Hard a-lee," 
and " All right," comprised Tehei's English vocabu- 
lary and led me to suspect that at some time he had 
been one of a Kanaka crew under an American captain. 
Between the puffs I made signs to him and repeatedly 
and interrogatively uttered the word sailor. Then I 
tried it in atrocious French. Marin conveyed no 
meaning to him ; nor did matelot. 
Either my French was bad, or 
else he was not up in it. I have 
since concluded that both con- 
jectures were correct. Finally, I 
began naming over the adjacent 
islands. He nodded that he had 
been to them. By the time my 
quest reached Tahiti, he caught 
my drift. His thought-processes 
were almost visible, and it was 
a joy to watch him think. He 
nodded his head vigorously. 
Yes, he had been to Tahiti, and 
he added himself names of is- 
lands such as Tikihau, Rangiroa, 
and Fakarava, thus proving that he had sailed as far as 
the Paumotus — undoubtedly one of the crew of a 
trading schooner. 

After our shoVt sail, when he had returned on board. 


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he by signs inquired the destination of the Snarky and 
when I had mentioned Samoa, Fiji, New Guinea, France, 
England, and CaHfornia in their geographical sequence, 
he said " Samoa," and by gestures intimated that he 
wanted to go along. Whereupon I was hard put to 
explain that there was no room for him. ^^ Petit 
bateau " finally solved it, and again the disappointment 
in his face was accompanied by smiling acquiescence, and 
promptly came the renewed invitation to accompany 
him to Tahaa. 

Charmian and I looked at each other. The exhila- 
ration of the ride we had taken was still upon us. For- 
gotten were the letters to Raiatea, the officials we had 
to visit. Shoes, a shirt, a pair of trousers, cigarettes, 
matches, and a book to read were hastily crammed into 
a biscuit tin and wrapped in a rubber blanket, and we 
were over the side and into the canoe. 

" When shall we look for you ? " Warren called, 
as the wind filled the sail and sent Tehei and me 
scurrying out on the outrigger. 

" I don't know," I answered. " When we get 
back, as near as I can figure it." 

And away we went. The wind had increased, and 
with slacked sheets we ran off before it. The free- 
board of the canoe was no more than two and a half 
inches, and the little waves continually lapped over the 
side. This required bailing. Now bailing is one of 
the principal functions of the vahine. Vahine is the 
Tahitian for woman, and Charmian being the only 
vahine aboard, the bailing fell appropriately to her. 
Tehei and I could not very well do it, the both of us 
being perched part way out on the outrigger and busied 
with keeping the canoe bottom-side down. So Char- 

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mian bailed, with a wooden scoop of primitive design, 
and so well did she do it that there were occasions 
when she could rest off almost half the time. 

Raiatea and Tahaa are unique in that they lie inside 
the same encircling reef. Both are volcanic islands, 
ragged of sky-line, with heaven-aspiring peaks and mina- 
rets. Since Raiatea is thirty miles in circumference, and 
Tahaa fifteen miles, some idea may be gained of the 
magnitude of the reef that encloses them. Between 
them and the reef stretches from one to two miles of 
water, forming a beautiful lagoon. The huge Pacific 
seas, extending in unbroken lines sometimes a mile or 
half as much again in length, hurl themselves upon the 
reef, overtowering and falling upon it with tremendous 
crashes, and yet the fragile coral structure withstands 
the shock and protects the land. Outside lies destruc- 
tion to the mightiest ship afloat. Inside reigns the 
calm of untroubled water, whereon a canoe like ours 
can sail with no more than a couple of inches of free- 

We flew over the water. And such water ! — clear 
as the clearest spring-water, and crystalline in its clear- 
ness, all intershot with a maddening pageant of colors 
and rainbow ribbons more magnificently gorgeous than 
any rainbow. Jade green alternated with turquoise, 
peacock blue with emerald, while now the canoe 
skimmed over reddish purple pools, and again over 
pools of dazzling, shimmering white where pounded 
coral sand lay beneath and upon which oozed mon- 
strous sea-slugs. One moment we were above wonder- 
gardens of coral, wherein colored fishes disported, 
fluttering like marine butterflies ; the next moment 
we were dashing across the dark surface of deep chan- 

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nels, out of which schools of flying fish lifted their 
silvery flight; and a third moment we were above 
other gardens of living coral, each more wonderful 
than the last. And above all was the tropic, trade- 
wind sky with its fluflfy clouds racing across the zenith 
and heaping the horizon with their soft masses. 

Before we were aware, we were close in to Tahaa (pro- 
nounced Tah-hah-ah, with equal accents), and Tehei 
was grinning approval of the vahine's proficiency at bail- 
ing. The canoe grounded on a shallow shore, twenty 
feet from land, and we waded out on a soft bottom where 
big slugs curled and writhed under our feet and where 
small octopuses advertised their existence by their su- 
perlative softness when stepped upon. Close to the 
beach, amid cocoanut palms and banana trees, erected 
on stilts, built of bamboo, with a grass-thatched roof^ 
was Tehei's house. And out of the house came 
Tehei's vahine^ 3. slender mite of a woman, kindly- 
eyed and Mongolian of feature — when she was not 
North American Indian. " Bihaura," Tehei called her, 
but he did not pronounce it according to English 
notions of spelling. Spelled " Bihaura," it sounded 
like Bee-ah-00-rah, with every syllable sharply empha- 

She took Charm ian by the hand and led her into 
the house, leaving Tehei and me to follow. Here, by 
sign-language unmistakable, we were informed that all 
they possessed was ours. No hidalgo was ever 
more generous in the expression of giving, while I 
am sure that few hidalgos were ever as generous 
in the actual practice. We quickly discovered 
that we dare not admire their possessions, for when- 
ever we did admire a particular object it was im- 

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mediately presented to us. The two vahinesy accord- 
ing to the way of vahinesy got together in a discussion 
and examination of feminine fripperies, while Tehei 
and I, manlike, went over fishing-tackle and wild-pig- 
hunting, to say nothing of the device whereby bonitas 
are caught on forty-root poles from double canoes. 
Charmian admired a sewing basket — the best example 
she had seen of Polynesian basketry ; it was hers. I 
admired a bonita hook, carved in one piece from a 
pearl-shell ; it was mine. Charmian was attracted by 
a fancy braid of straw sennit, thirty feet of it in a roll, 
sufficient to make a hat of any design one wished ; the 
roll of sennit was hers. My gaze lingered upon a 
poi-pounder that dated back to the old stone days ; it 
was mine. Charmian dwelt a moment too long on a 
wooden poi-bowl, canoe-shaped, with four legs, all 
carved in one piece of wood ; it was hers. I glanced 
a second time at a gigantic cocoanut calabash ; it was 
mine. Then Charmian and I held a conference in 
which we resolved to admire no more — not because 
it did not pay well enough, but because it paid too well. 
Also, we were already racking our brains over the 
contents of the Snark for suitable return presents. 
Christmas is an easy problem compared with a Poly- 
nesian giying-feast. 

We sat on the cool porch, on Bihaura's best mats, 
while dinner was preparing, and at the same time met 
the villagers. In twos and threes and groups they 
strayed along, shaking hands and uttering the Tahitian 
word of greeting — Toarana^ pronounced yo-rah-nah. 
The men, big strapping fellows, were in loin-cloths, 
with here and there no shirt, while the women wore the 
universal ahuy a sort of adult pinafore that flows in 

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graceful lines from the shoulders to the ground. Sad 
to see was the elephantiasis that afflicted some of 
them. Here would be a comely woman of magnificent 
proportions, with the port of a queen, yet marred by 
one arm four times — or a dozen times — the size of 
the other. Beside her might stand a six-foot man, 
erect, mighty-muscled, bronzed, with the body of a 
god, yet with feet and calves so swollen that they ran 
together, forming legs, shapeless, monstrous, that were 
for all the world like elephant legs. 

No one seems really to know the cause of the South 
Sea elephantiasis. One theory is that it is caused by 
the drinking of polluted water. Another theory at- 
tributes it to inoculation through mosquito bites. A 
third theory charges it to predisposition plus the pro- 
cess of acclimatization. On the other hand, no one 
that stands in finicky dread of it and similar diseases 
can aflFord to travel in the South Seas. There will be 
occasions when such a one must drink water. There 
may be also occasions when the mosquitoes let up 
biting. But every precaution of the finicky one will be 
useless. If he runs barefoot across the beach to have 
a swim, he will tread where an elephantiasis case trod 
a few minutes before. If he closets himself in his own 
house, yet every bit of fresh food on his table will have 
been subjected to the contamination, be it flesh, fish, 
fowl, or vegetable. In the public market at Papeete 
two known lepers run stalls, and heaven alone knows 
through what channels arrive at that market the daily 
supplies offish, fruit, meat, and vegetables. The only 
happy way to go through the South Seas is with a 
careless poise, without apprehension, and with a Chris- 
tian Science-like faith in the resplendent fortune of 

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your own particular star. When you see a woman, 
afflicted with elephantiasis, wringing out cream from 
cocoanut meat with her naked hands, drink and reflect 
how good is the cream, forgetting the hands that pressed 
it out. Also, remember that diseases such as elephan- 
tiasis and leprosy do not seem to be caught by contact. 

We watched a Raratongan woman, with swollen, 
distorted limbs, prepare our cocoanut cream, and then 
went out to the cook-shed where Tehei and Bihaura 
were cooking dinner. And then it was served to us 
on a drygoods box in the house. Our hosts waited 
until we were done and then spread their table on the 
floor. But our table ! We were certainly in the high 
seat of abundance. First, there was glorious raw fish, 
caught several hours before from the sea and steepeci 
the intervening time in lime-juice diluted with water. 
^ Then came roast chicken. Two cocoanuts, sharply- 
sweet, served for drink. There were bananas that 
tasted like strawberries and that melted in the mouth, 
and there was/banana-poi that made one regret that his 
Yankee forebears ever attempted puddings. Then 
there was boiled yam, boiled taro, and roasted feis^ 
which last are nothing more or less than large, mealy, 
juicy, red-colored cooking bananas. We marvelled at 
the abundance, and, even as we marvelled, a pig was 
brought on, a whole pig, a sucking pig, swathed in 
green leaves and roasted upon the hot stones of a native 
oven, the most honorable and triumphant dish in the 
Polynesian cuisine. And after that came cofi^ee, black 
cofi^ee, delicious coflFee, native coflFee grown on the hill- 
sides of Tahaa. 

Tehei's fishing-tackle fascinated me, and after we 
arranged to go fishing, Charmian and I decided to re-* 

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main all night. Again Tehei broached Samoa, and 
again my petit bateau brought the disappointment 
and the smile of acquiescence to his face. Bora Bora 
was my next port. It was not so far away but that 
cutters made the passage back and forth between it 
and Raiatea. So I invited Tehei to go that far with 
us on the Snark. Then I learned that his wife had 
been born on Bora Bora and still owned a house there. 
She likewise was invited, and immediately came the 
counter invitation to stay with them in their house in 
Bora Bora. It was Monday. Tuesday we would go 
fishing and return to Raiatea. Wednesday we would 
sail by Tahaa and off a certain point, a mile away, pick 
up Tehei and Bihaura and go on to Bora Bora. All 
this we arranged in detail, and talked over scores of 
other things as well, and yet Tehei knew three phrases 
in English, Charmian and I knew possibly a dozen 
Tahitian words, and among the four of us there were a 
dozen or so French words that all understood. Of 
course, such polyglot conversation was slow, but, eked 
out with a pad, a lead pencil, the face of a clock Char- 
mian drew on the back of a pad, and with ten thousand 
and one gestures, we managed to get on very nicely. 

At the first moment we evidenced an inclination for 
bed the visiting natives, with soft laoranasy faded away, 
and Tehei and Bihaura likewise faded away. The 
house consisted of one large room, and it was given 
over to us, our hosts going elsewhere to sleep. In 
truth, their castle was ours. And right here, I want 
to say that of all the entertainment I have received in 
this world at the hands of all sorts of races in all sorts 
of places, I have never received entertainment that 
equalled this at the hands of this brown-skinned couple 

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of Tahaa. I do not refer to the presents, the free- 
handed generousness, the high abundance, but to the 
fineness of courtesy and consideration and tact, and to 
the sympathy that was real sympathy in that it was 
understanding. They did nothing they thought ought 
to be done for us, according to their standards, but 
they did what they divined we wanted to be done for us, 
while their divination was most successful. It would 
be impossible to enumerate the hundreds of little acts 
of consideration they performed during the few days of 
our intercourse. Let it suffice for me to say that of 
all hospitality and entertainment I have known, in no 
case was theirs not only not excelled, but in no case 
was it quite equalled. Perhaps the most delightful feat- 
ure of it was that it was due to no training, to no com- 
plex social ideals, but that it was the untutored and 
spontaneous outpouring from their hearts. 

The next morning we went fishing, that is, Tehei, 
Charmian, and I did, in the coffin-shaped canoe ; but 
this time the enormous sail was left behind. There 
was no room for sailing and fishing at the same time 
in that tiny craft. Several miles away, inside the reef, 
in a channel twenty fathoms deep, Tehei dropped his 
baited hooks and rock-sinkers. The bait was chunks of 
octopus flesh, which he bit out of a live octopus that 
writhed in the bottom of the canoe. Nine of these 
lines he set, each line attached to one end of a short 
length of bamboo floating on the surface. When a 
fish was hooked, the end of the bamboo was drawn 
under the water. Naturally, the other end rose up in 
the air, bobbing and waving frantically for us to make 
haste. And make haste we did, with whoops and yells 
and driving paddles, from one signalling bamboo to 

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another, hauling up from the depths great glistening 
beauties from two to three feet in length. 

Steadily, to the eastward, an ominous squall had 
been rising and blotting out the bright trade-wind sky. 
And we were three miles to leeward of home. We 
started as the first wind-gusts whitened the water. 
Then came the rain, such rain as only the tropics af- 
ford, when every tap and main in the sky is open 
wide, and when, to top it all, the very reservoir itself 
spills over in blinding deluge. Well, Charmian was 
in a swimming suit, I was in pajamas, and Tehei wore 
only a loin-cloth. Bihaura was on the beach waiting 
for us, and she led Charmian into the house in much 
the same fashion that the mother leads in the naughty 
little girl who has been playing in mud-puddles. 

It was a change of clothes and a dry and quiet smoke 
while kai-kai was preparing. Kai-kaiy by the way, is 
the Polynesian for " food " or " to eat," or, rather, it 
is one form of the original root, whatever it may have 
been, that has been distributed far and wide over the 
vast area of the Pacific. It is kai in the Marquesas, 
Raratonga, Manahiki, Niue, Fakaafo, Tonga, New 
Zealand, and Vate. In Tahiti "to eat" changes to 
amu, in Hawaii and Samoa to aiy in Bau to kanoy in 
Niua to kainQy in Nongone to kakoy and in New Cale- 
donia to ki. But by whatsoever sound or symbol, it 
was welcome to our ears after that long paddle in the 
rain. Once more we sat in the high seat of abundance 
until we regretted that we had been made unlike the 
image of the giraffe and the camel. 

Again, when we were preparing to return to the 
Snarkj the sky to windward turned black and another 
squall swooped down. But this time it was little rain 

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and all wind. It blew hour after hour, moaning and 
screeching through the palms, tearing and wrenching 
and shaking the frail bamboo dwelling, while the outer 
reef set up a mighty thundering as it broke the force 
of the swinging seas. Inside the reef, the lagoon, shel- 
tered though it was, was white with fury, and not even 
Tehei's seamanship could have enabled his slender 
canoe to live in such a welter. 

By sunset, the back of the squall had broken, though 
it was still too rough for the canoe. So I had Tehei 
find a native who was willing to venture his cutter 
across to Raiatea for the outrageous sum of two dollars, 
Chili, which is equivalent in our money to ninety 
cents. Half the village was told off to carry presents, 
with which Tehei and Bihaura speeded their parting 
guests — captive chickens, fishes dressed and swathed 
in wrappings of green leaves, great golden bunches of 
bananas, leafy baskets spilling over with oranges and 
limes, alligator pears (the butter-fruit, also called the 
avoca)y huge baskets of yams, bunches of taro and 
cocoanuts, and last of all, large branches and trunks of 
trees — firewood for the Snark. 

While on the way to the cutter we met the only 
white man on Tahaa, and of all men, George Lufkin, a 
native of New England ! Eighty-six years of age he 
was, sixty-odd of which, he said, he had spent in the 
Society Islands, with occasional absences, such as the 
gold rush to Eldorado in forty-nine and a short period 
of ranching in California near Tulare. Given no more 
than three months by the doctors to live, he had re- 
turned to his South Seas and lived to eighty-six and 
to chuckle over the doctors aforesaid who were all in 
their graves. Fee-fee he had, which is the native for 

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elephantiasis and which is pronounced fay-fay. A 
quarter of a century before, the disease had fastened 
upon him, and it would remain with him until he died. 
We asked him about kith and kin. Beside him sat a 
sprightly damsel of sixty, his daughter. " She is all I 
have," he murmured plaintively, "and she has no 
children living." 

The cutter was a small, sloop-rigged affair, but large 
it seemed alongside Tehei's canoe. On the other 
hand, when we got out on the lagoon and were struck 
by another heavy wind-squall, the cutter became lilipu- 
tian, while the Snarky in our imagination, seemed to 
promise all the stability and permanence of a continent. 
They were good boatmen. Tehei and Bihaura had 
come along to see us home, and the latter proved a 
good boatwoman herself. The cutter was well bal- 
lasted, and we met the squall under full sail. It was get- 
ting dark, the lagoon was fiill of coral patches, and we 
were carrying on. In the height of the squall we had 
to go about, in order to make a short leg to windward 
to pass around a patch of coral no more than a foot 
under the surface. As the cutter filled on the other 
tack, and while she was in that " dead " condition that 
precedes gathering way, she was knocked flat. Jib- 
sheet and main-sheet were let go, and she righted into 
the wind. Three times she was knocked down, and 
three times the sheets were flung loose, before she 
could get away on that tack. 

By the time we went about again, darkness had 
fallen. We were now to windward of the Snarky and 
the squall was howling. In came the jib, and down 
came the mainsail, all but a patch of it the size of a 
pillow-slip. By an accident we missed the Snarky 

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which was riding it out to two anchors, and drove 
aground upon the inshore coral. Running the long- 
est line on the Snark by means of the launch, and after 
an hour's hard work, we heaved the cutter off and had 
her lying safely astern. 

The day we sailed for Bora Bora the wind was light, 
and we crossed the lagoon under power to the point 
where Tehei and Bihaura were to meet us. As we 
made in to the land between the coral banks, we vainly 
scanned the shore for our friends. There was no sign 
of them. 

" We can't wait," I said. " This breeze won't fetch 
us to Bora Bora by dark, and I don't want to use any 
more gasolene than I have to." 

You see, gasolene in the South Seas is a problem. 
One never knows when he will be able to replenish his 

But just then Tehei appeared through the trees as he 
came down to the water. He had peeled off his shirt 
and was wildly waving it. Bihaura apparently was not 
ready. Once aboard, Tehei informed us by signs that 
we must proceed along the land till we got opposite to 
his house. He took the wheel and conned the Snark 
through the coral, around point after point till we 
cleared the last point of all. Cries of welcome went up 
from the beach, and Bihaura, assisted by several of the 
villagers, brought off two canoe-loads of abundance. 
There were yams, taro, feis, breadfruit, cocoanuts, 
oranges, limes, pineapples, watermelons, alligator pears, 
pomegranates, fish, chickens galore crowing and cack- 
ling and laying eggs on our decks, and a live pig that 
squealed infernally and all the time in apprehension 
of imminent slaughter. 

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Undef the rising moon we came in through the 
perilous passage of the reef of Bora Bora and dropped 
anchor off Vaitape village. Bihaura, with housewifely 
anxiety, could not get ashore too quickly to her house 

Visitors on Board the Snark at Raiatea. 

to prepare more abundance for us. While the launch 
was taking her and Tehei to the little jetty, the sound 
of music and of singing drifted across the quiet lagoon. 
Throughout the Society Islands we had been continually 
informed that we would find the Bora Borans very 
jolly. Charmian and I went ashore to see, and on the 

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village green, by forgotten graves on the beach, found 
the youths and maidens dancing, flower-garlanded and 
flower-bedecked, with strange phosphorescent flowers 
in their hair that pulsed and dimmed and glowed in 
the moonlight. Farther along the beach we came 
upon a huge grass house, oval-shaped, seventy feet in 
length, where the elders of the village were singing 
himines. They, too, were flower-garlanded and jolly, 
and they welcomed us into the fold as little lost sheep 
straying along from outer darkness. 

Early next morning Tehei was on board, with a 
string of fresh-caught fish and an invitation to dinner 
for tnat evening. On the way to dinner, we dropped 
in at the himine house. The same elders were singing, 
with here or there a youth or maiden that we had not 
seen the previous night. From all the signs, a feast 
was in preparation. Towering up from the floor was 
a mountain of fruits and vegetables, flanked on either 
side by numerous chickens tethered by cocoanut strips. 
After several himines had been sung, one of the men 
arose and made oration. The oration was made to 
us, and though it was Greek to us, we knew that in 
some way it connected us with that mountain of 

" Can it be that they are presenting us with all that ? " 
Charmian whispered. 

" Impossible," I muttered back. " Why should 
they be giving it to us ? Besides, there is no room on 
the Snark for it. We could not eat a tithe of it. The 
rest would spoil. Maybe they are inviting us to the 
feast. At any rate, that they should give all that to 
us is impossible." 

Nevertheless we found ourselves once more in the 

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high seat of abundance. The orator, by gestures un- 
mistakable, in detail presented every item in the moun- 
tain to us, and next he presented it to us in toto. It 
was an embarrassing moment. What would you do 
if you lived in a hall bedroom and a friend gave you a 
white elephant ? Our Snark was no more than a hall 
bedroom, and already she was loaded down with the 
abundance of Tahaa. This new supply was too much. 
We blushed, and stammered, and mauruurud. We 
mauruurud with repeated nms which conveyed the 
largeness and overwhelmingness of our thanks. At the 
same time, by signs, we committed the awful breach 
of etiquette of not accepting the present. The himine 
singers' disappointment was plainly betrayed, and that 
evening, aided by Tehei, we compromised by accept- 
ing one chicken, one bunch of bananas, one bunch of 
taro, and so on down the list. 

But there was no escaping the abundance. I bought 
a dozen chickens from a native out in the country, and 
the following day he delivered thirteen chickens along 
with a canoe-load of fruit. The French storekeeper 
presented us with pomegranates and lent us his finest 
horse. The gendarme did likewise, lending us a horse 
that was- the very apple of his eye. And everybody 
sent us flowers. The Snark was a fruit-stand and a 
green grocer's shop masquerading under the guise of a 
conservatory. We went around flower-garlanded all 
the time. When the himine singers came on board to 
sing, the maidens kissed us welcome, and the crew, 
from captain to cabin-boy, lost its heart to the maid- 
ens of Bora Bora. Tehei got up a big fishing ex- 
pedition in our honor, to which we went in a double 
canoe, paddled by a dozen strapping Amazons. We 

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were relieved that no fish were caught, else the Snark 
would have sunk at her moorings. 

The days passed, but the abundance did not dimin- 
ish. On the day of departure, canoe after canoe put 
off to us. Tehei brought cucumbers and a young 
papaia tree burdened with splendid fruit. Also, for 
me he brought a tiny, double canoe with fishing ap- 
paratus complete. Further, he brought fruits and 
vegetables with the same lavishness as at Tahaa. Bi- 
haura brought various special presents for Charmian, 
such as silk-cotton pillows, fans, and fancy mats. The 
whole population brought fruits, flowers, and chickens. 
And Bihaura added a live sucking pig. Natives whom 
I did not remember ever having seen before strayed 
over the rail and presented me with such things as fish- 
poles, fish-lines, and fish-hooks carved from pearl-shell. 

As the Snark sailed out through the reef, she had a 
cutter in tow. This was the craft that was to take Bi- 
haura back to Tahaa — but not Tehei. I had yielded 
at last, and he was one of the crew of the Snark. 
When the cutter cast oflF and headed east, and the 
Snark's bow turned toward the west, Tehei knelt 
down by the cockpit and breathed a silent prayer, the 
tears flowing down his cheeks. A week later, when 
Martin got around to developing and printing, he 
showed Tehei some of the photographs. And that 
brown-skinned son of Polynesia, gazing on the pic- 
tured lineaments of his beloved Bihaura, broke down 
in tears. 

But the abundance ! There was so much of it. 
We could not work the Snark for the fruit that was in 
the way. She was festooned with fruit. The life-boat 
and launch were packed with it. The awning-guys 

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groaned under their burdens. But once we struck 
the full trade-wind sea, the disburdening began. At 
every roll the Snark shook overboard a bunch or so 
of bananas and cocoanuts, or a basket of limes. A 
golden flood of limes washed about in the lee-scuppers. 
The big baskets of yams burst, and pineapples and 
pomegranates rolled back and forth. The chickens 
had got loose and were everywhere, roosting on the 
awnings, fluttering and squawking out on the jib-boom, 
and essaying the perilous feat of balancing on the spin- 
naker-boom. They were wild chickens, accustomed 
to flight. When attempts were made to catch them, 
they flew out over the ocean, circled about, and came 
back. Sometimes they did not come back. And in 
the confusion, unobserved, the little sucking pig got 
loose and slipped overboard. 

** On the arrival of strangers, every man endeavored to obtain one as 
a friend and carry him off to his own habitation, where he is treated 
with the greatest kindness by the inhabitants of the district : they place 
him on a high seat and feed him with abundance of the finest foods." 

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The Stone-fishing of Bora Bora 

At five in the morning the conches began to blow. 
From all along the beach the eerie sounds arose, like 
the ancient voice of War, calling to the fishermen to 
arise and prepare to go forth. We on the Snark like- 
wise arose, for there could be no sleep in that mad din 
of conches. Also, we were going stone-fishing, though 
our preparations were few. 

Tautat'taora is the name for stone-fishing, tautai 
meaning a " fishing instrument." And taora meaning 

" In a double canoe paddled by a dozen strapping Amazons. 

"thrown." But tautai-taora^ in combination, means 
"stone-fishing," for a stone is the instrument that is 
thrown. Stone-fishing is in reality a fish-drive, similar 

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in principle to a rabbit-drive or a cattle-drive, though 
in the latter affairs drivers and driven operate in the 
same medium, while in the fish-drive the men must be 

The Launch attracted much Attention. 

in the air to breathe and the fish are driven through the 
water. It does not matter if the water is a hundred 
feet deep, the men, working on the surface, drive the 
fish just the same. 

This is the way it is done. The canoes form in line, 
one hundred to two hundred feet apart. In the bow 
of each canoe a man wields a stone, several pounds in 
weight, which is attached to a short rope. " He merely 
smites the water with the stone, pulls up the stone, and 
smitesagain. Hegoes on smiting. In the stern of each 
canoe, another man paddles, driving the canoe ahead 
and at the same time keeping it in the formation. The 
line of canoes advances to meet a second line a mile or 
two away, the ends of the lines hurrying together to 
form a circle, the far edge of which is the shore. .The 

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circle begins to contractupontheshore, where the women, 
standing in a long row out into the sea, form a fence of 
legs, which serves to break any rushes of the frantic 
fish. At the right moment when the circle is sufficiently 
small, a canoe dashes out from shore, dropping over- 
board a long screen of cocoanut leaves and encircling 
the circle, thus reenforcing the palisade of legs. Of 
course, the. fishing is always done inside the reef in the 

" Tres joliej'* the gendarme said, after explaining by 
signs and gestures that thousands offish would be caught 
of all sizes from minnows to sharks, and that the 
captured fish would boil up and upon the very sand 
of the beach. 

It is a most successful method of fishing, while its 
nature is more that of an outing festival, rather than of a 
prosaic, food-getting task. Such fishing parties take 
place about once a month at Bora Bora, and it is a 
custom that has descended from old time. The man 
who originated it is not remembered. They always 
did this thing. But one cannot help wondering about 
that forgotten savage of the long ago, into whose mind 
first flashed this scheme of easy fishing, of catching 
huge quantities of fish without hook, or net, or spear. 
One thing about him we can know : he was a radical. 
And we can be sure that he was considered feather-brained 
and anarchistic by his conservative tribesmen. His 
difficulty was much greater than that of the modern 
inventor, who has to convince in advance only one or 
two capitalists. That early inventor had to convince 
his whole tribe in advance, for without the cooperation 
of the whole tribe the device could not be tested. One 
can well imagine the nightly pow-wow-ings in that 

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primitive island world, when he called his comrades 
antiquated moss-backs, and they called him a fool, a 
freak, and a crank, and charged him with having come 
from Kansas. Heaven alone knows at what cost of 
gray hairs and expletives he must finally have succeeded 
in winning over a sufficient number to give his idea a 
trial. At any rate, the experiment succeeded. It stood 

The Stone-thrower. 

the test of truth — it worked! And thereafter, we can 
be confident, there was no man to be found who did 
not know all along that it was going to work. 

Our good friends, Tehei and Bihaura, who were giv- 
ing the fishing in our honor, had promised to come for 
us. We were down below when the call came from 
on deck that they were coming. We dashed up the 
companionway, to be overwhelmed by the sight of the 
Polynesian barge in which we were to ride. It was a 
long double canoe, the canoes lashed together by timbers 

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with an interval of water between, and the whole decorated 
with flowers and golden grasses. A dozen flower- 
crowned Amazons were at the paddles, while at the 
stern of each canoe was a strapping steersman. All 
were garlanded with gold and crimson and orange 
flowers, while each wore about the hips a scarlet pareu. 
There were flowers everywhere, flowers, flowers, flowers, 
without end. The whole thing was an orgy of color. 
On the platform forward resting on the bows of the 
canoes, Tehei and Bihaura were dancing. All voices 
were raised in a wild song of greeting. 

Three times they circled the Snark before coming 
alongside to take Charmian and me on board. Then 
it was away for the fishing-grounds, a five-mile paddle 
dead to windward. " Everybody is jolly in Bora Bora," 
is the saying throughout the Society Islands, and we 
certainly found everybody jolly. Canoe songs, shark 
songs, and fishing songs were sung to the dipping of 
the paddles, all joining in on the swinging choruses. 
Once in a while the cry Mao! was raised, whereupon 
all strained like mad at the paddles. Mao is shark, and 
when the deep-sea tigers appear, the natives paddle for 
dear life for the shore, knowing full well the danger 
they run of having their frail canoes overturned and of 
being devoured. Of course, in our case there were no 
sharks, but the cry ofmao was used to incite them to 
paddle with as much energy as if a shark were really 
after them. " Hoe ! Hoe ! " was another cry that made 
us foam through the water. 

On the platform Tehei and Bihaura danced, accom- 
panied by songs and choruses or by rhythmic hand- 
clappings. At other times a musical knocking of the 
paddles against the sides of the canoes marked the ac- 

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cent. A young girl dropped her paddle, leaped to the 
platform, and danced a hula, in the midst of which, 
still dancing, she swayed and bent, and imprinted on 
our cheeks the kiss of welcome. Some of the songs, 
or himinesy were religious, and they were especially 
beautiful, the deep basses of the men mingling with 
the altos and thin sopranos of the women and forming 
a combination of sound that irresistibly reminded one 
of an organ. In fact, " kanaka organ " is the scoffer's 
description of the himine. On the other hand, some 
of the chants or ballads were very barbaric, having 
come down from pre-Christian times. 

And so, singing, dancing, paddling, these joyous 
Polynesians took us to the fishing. The gendarme, 
who is the French ruler of Bora Bora, accompanied us 
with his family in a double canoe of his own, paddled 
by his prisoners ; for not only is he gendarme and 
ruler, but he is jailer as well, and in this jolly land when 
anybody goes fishing, all go fishing. A score of single 
canoes, with outriggers, paddled along with us. Around 
a point a bigsailing-canoe appeared, running beautifully 
before the wind as it bore down to greet us. Balanc- 
ing precariously on the outrigger, three young men 
saluted us with a wild rolling ofdrums. 

The next point, half a mile farther on, brought us 
to the place of meeting. Here the launch, which had 
been brought along by Warren and Martin, at- 
tracted much attention. The Bora Borans could not 
see what made it go. The canoes were drawn upon 
the sand, and all hands went ashore to drink cocoanuts 
and sing and dance. Here our numbers were added 
to by many who arrived on foot from near-by dwell- 
ings, and a pretty sight it was to see the flower-crowned 

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i t 




1 ^ 



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maidens, hand in hand and two by two, arriving along 
the sands. 

" They usually make a big catch," AUicot, a half- 
caste trader, told us. " At the finish the water is fairly 
alive with fish. It is lots of fun. Of course you know 
all the fish will be yours." 

" All ? " I groaned, for already the Snark was loaded 

The Circle began to Contract. 

down with lavish presents, by the canoe-load, of fruits, 
vegetables, pigs, and chickens. 

" Yes, every last fish," Allicot answered. " You see, 
when the surround is completed, you, being the guest 
of honor, must take a harpoon and impale the first one. 
It is the custom. Then everybody goes in with their 
hands and throws the ^catch out on the sand. There 
will be a mountain of them. Then one of the chiefs 
will make a speech in which he presents you with the 
whole kit and boodle. But you don't have to take them 

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all. You get up and make a speech, selecting what fish 
you want for yourself and presenting all the rest back 
again. Then everybody says you are very generous." 

" But what would be the result if I kept the whole 
present ? " I asked. 

" It has never happened," was the answer. " It 
is the custom to give and give back again." 

"The palisade of legs." 

The native minister started with a prayer for success 
in the fishing, and all heads were bared. Next, the 
chief fishermen told off the canoes and allotted them 
their places. Then it was into the canoes and away. 
No women, however, came along, with the exception 
of Bihaura and Charmian. In the old days even they 
would have been tabooed. The women remained be- 
hind to wade out into the water and form the palisade 
of legs. 

The big double canoe was left on the beach, and we 

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went in the launch. Half the canoes paddled off to 
leeward, while we, with the other half, headed to wind- 
ward a mile and a half, until the end of our line was in 
touch with the reef. The leader of the drive occupied a 
canoe midway in our line. He stood erect, a fine fig- 
ure of an old man, holding a flag in his hand. He di- 
rected the taking of positions and 
the forming of the two lines by 
blowing on a conch. When all 
was ready, he waved his flag to 
the right. With a single splash 
the throwers in every canoe on 
that side struck the water with 
their stones. While they were 
hauling them back — a matter of 
a moment, for the stones scarcely 
sank beneath the surface — the flag 
waved to the left, and with admir- 
able precision every stone on that 
side struck the water. So it went, 
back and forth, right and left ; with 
every wave of the flag a long line of concussion smote 
the lagoon. At the same time the paddles drove the 
canoes forward; and what was being done' in our line 
was being done in the opposing line of canoes a mile 
and more away. 

On the bow of the launch, Tehei, with eyes fixed 
on the leader, worked his stone in unison with the 
others. Once, the stone slipped from the rope, and 
the same instant Tehei went overboard after it. I do 
not know whether or not that stone reached the bot- 
tom, but I do know that the next instant Tehei broke 
surface alongside with the stone in his hand. I noticed 

One of the Fishermen. 

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this same accident occur several times among the near- 
by canoes, but in each instance the thrower followed 
the stone and brought it back. 

The reef ends of our lines accelerated, the shore ends 
lagged, all under the watchful supervision of the leader, 
until at the reef the two lines joined, forming the circle. 
Then the contraction of the circle began, the poor 

The Gendarme of Bora Bora paddled by his Prisoners. 

frightened fish harried shoreward by the streaks of con- 
cussion that smote the water. In the same fashion 
elephants are driven through the jungle by motes of 
men who crouch in the long grasses or behind trees 
and make strange noises. Already the palisade of legs 
had been built. We could see the heads of the women, 
in a long line, dotting the placid surface of the lagoon. 
» The tallest women went farthest out, thus, with the 
exception of those close inshore, nearly all were up to 
their necks in the water. 

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Still the circle narrowed, till canoes were almost 
touching. There was a pause. A long canoe shot 
out from shore, following the line of the circle. It 
went as fast as paddles could drive. In the stern a 
man threw overboard the long, continuous screen of 
cocoanut leaves. The canoes were no longer needed, 
and overboard went the men to reenforce the palisade 

The Kind of Fish we did not Catch. 

with their legs. For the screen was only a screen, and 
not a net, and the fish could dash through it if they 
tried. Hence the need for legs that ever agitated the 
screen, and for hands that splashed and throats that 
yelled. Pandemonium reigned as the trap tightened. 
But no fish broke surface or collided against the 
hidden legs. At last the chief fisherman entered the 
trap. He waded around everywhere, carefully. But 
there were no fish boiling up and out upon the sand. 
There was not a sardine, not a minnow, not a polly- 

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wog. Something must have been wrong with that 
prayer ; or else, and more likely, as one grizzled fellow 
put it, the wind was not in its usual quarter and the 
fish were elsewhere in the lagoon. In fact, there had 
been no fish to drive. 

" About once in five these drives are failures," AUi- 
cot consoled us. 

Well, it was the stone-fishing that had brought us 
to Bora Bora, and it was our luck to draw the one 
chance in five. Had it been a raffle, it would have 
been the other way about. This is not pessimism. 
Nor is it an indictment of the plan of the universe. 
It is merely that feeling which is familiar to most 
fishermen at the empty end of a hard day. 

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The Amateur Navigator 

There are captains and captains, and some mighty 
fine captains, I know ; but the run of the captains on 
the Snark has been remarkably otherwise. My experi- 
ence with them has been that it is harder to take care 
of one captain on a srhall boat than of two small babies. 
Of course, this is no more than is to be expected. The 
good men have positions, and are not likely to forsake 
their one-thousand-to-fifteen-thousand-ton billets for 
the Snark with her ten tons net. The Snark has had 
to cull her navigators from the beach, and the naviga- 
tor on the beach is usually a congenital inefficient — 
the sort of man who beats about for a fortnight trying 
vainly to find an ocean isle and who returns with his 
schooner to report the island sunk with all on board, 
the sort of man whose temper or thirst for strong 
waters works him out of billets faster than he can 
work into them. 

The Snark has had three captains, and by the 
grace of God she shall have no more. The first 
captain was so senile as to be unable to give a meas- 
urement for a boom-jaw to a carpenter. So utterly 
agedly helpless was he, that he was unable to order a 
sailor to throw a few buckets of salt water on the Snark' s 
deck. For twelve days, at anchor, under an over- 
head tropic sun, the deck lay dry. It was a new deck. 
It cost me one hundred and thirty-five dollars to 
recalk it. The second captain was angry. He was 

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born angry. " Papa is always angry," was the de- 
scription given him by his half-breed son. The third 
captain was so crooked that he couldn't hide behind 
a corkscrew. The truth was not in him, common 
honesty was not in him, and he was as far away from 
fair play and square-dealing as he was from his proper 
course when he nearly wrecked the Snark on the Ring- 
gold Isles. 

It was at Suva, in the Fijis, that I discharged my 
third and last captain and took up again the role 
of amateur navigator. I had essayed it once before, 
under my first captain, who, out of San Francisco, 
jumped the Snark so amazingly over the chart that I 
really had to find out what was doing. It was fairly 
easy to find out, for we had a run of twenty-one hun- 
dred miles before us. I knew nothing of navigation ; 
but, after several hours of reading up and half an 
hour's practice with the sextant, I was able to find the 
Snark^s latitude by meridian observation and her longi- 
tude by the simple method known as "equal altitudes." 
This is not a correct method. It is not even a safe 
method, but my captain was attempting to navigate by 
it, and he was the only one on board who should have 
been able to tell me that it was a method to be es- 
chewed. I brought the Snark to Hawaii, but the 
conditions favored me. The sun was in northern 
declination and nearly overhead. The legitimate 
"chronometer-sight" method of ascertaining the 
longitude I had not heard of — yes, I had heard of it. 
My first captain mentioned it vaguely, but after one or 
two attempts at practice of it he mentioned it no more. 

I had time in the Fijis to compare my chronometer 
with two other chronometers. Two weeks previous, 

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at Pago Pago, in Samoa, I had asked my captain to 
compare our chronometer with the chronometers on 
the American cruiser, the Annapolis. This he told 
me he had done — of course he had done nothing of 

The Famous "Broom Road," Tahiti. 

the sort ; and he told me that the difference he had 
ascertained was only a small fraction of a second. He 
told it to me with finely simulated joy and with words 
of praise for my splendid time-keeper. I repeat it 
now, with words of praise for his splendid and un- 
blushing unveracity. For behold, fourteen days later, 

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in Suva, I compared the chronometer with the one on 
the Atuay an Australian steamer, and found that mine 
was thirty-one seconds fast. Now thirty-one seconds 
of time, converted into arc, equals seven and one- 
quarter miles. That is to say, if I were sailing west, 
in the night-time, and my position, according to my 
dead reckoning from my afternoon chronometer sight, 
was shown to be seven miles off the land, why, at that 
very moment I would be crashing on the reef. Next 
I compared my chronometer with Captain Wooley's. 
Captain Wooley, the harbormaster, gives the time to 
Suva, firing a gun signal at twelve, noon, three times a 
week. According to his chronometer mine was fifty- 
nine seconds fast, which is to say, that, sailing west, I 
should be crashing on the reef when I thought I was 
fifteen miles ofF from it. 

I compromised by subtracting thirty-one seconds 
from the total of my chronometer's losing error, and 
sailed away for Tanna, in the New Hebrides, resolved, 
when nosing around the land on dark nights, to bear 
in mind the other seven miles I might be out according 
to Captain Wooley's instrument. Tanna lay some six 
hundred miles west-southwest from the Fijis, and it was 
my belief that while covering that distance I could 
quite easily knock into my head suflicient navigation 
to get me there. Well, I got there, but listen first to 
my troubles. Navigation is easy, I shall always con- 
tend that ; but when a man is taking three gasolene 
engines and a wife around the world and is writing hard 
every day to keep the engines supplied with gasolene 
and the wife with pearls and volcanoes, he hasn't much 
time left in which to study navigation. Also, it is 
bound to be easier to study said science ashore, where 

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latitude and longitude are unchanging, in a house 
whose position never alters, than it is to study navi- 
gation on a boat that is rushing along day and night 
toward land that one is trying to find and which he is 
liable to find disastrously at a moment when he least 
expects it. 

To begin with, there are the compasses and the set- 
ting of the courses. We sailed from Suva on Saturday 
afternoon, June 6, 1908, and it took us till after dark 
to run the narrow, reef-ridden passage between the 
islands of Viti Lfevu and Mbengha. The open ocean 
lay before me. There was nothing in the way with 
the exception of Vatu Leile, a miserable little island 
that persisted in poking up through the sea some 
twenty miles to the west-southwest — just where I 
wanted to go. Of course, it seemed quite simple to 
avoid it by steering a course that would pass it eight or 
ten miles to the north. It was a black night, and we 
were running before the wind. The man at the wheel 
must be told what direction to steer in order to miss 
Vatu Leile, But what direction ? I turned me to the 
navigation books. " True Course " I lighted upon. 
The very thing ! What I wanted was the true course. 
I read eagerly on : 

** The True Course is the angle made with the meridian by a straight 
line on the chart drawn to connect the ship's position with the place 
bound to," 

Just what I wanted. The Snark's position was at 
the western entrance of the passage between Viti Levu 
and Mbengha. The immediate place she was bound 
to was a place on the chart ten miles north of Vatu 
Leile. I pricked that place off on the chart with my 

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dividers, and with my parallel rulers found that west-by- 
south was the true course. I had but to give it to the 
man at the wheel and the Snark would win her way to 
the safety of the open sea. 

Paumotan Natives. 

But alas and alack and lucky for me, I read on. I 
discovered that the compass, that trusty, everlasting 
friend of the mariner, was not given to pointing north. 
It varied. Sometimes it pointed east of north, some- 
times west of north, and on occasion it even turned tail 
on north and pointed south. The variation at the 

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particular spot on the globe occupied by the Snark was 
9^ 40' easterly. Well, that had to be taken into 
account before I gave the steering course to the man at 
the wheel. I read : 

" The Correct Magnetic Course is derived from the True Course by 
applying to it the variation." 

Therefore, I reasoned, if the compass points 9^ 40' 
eastward of north, and I wanted to sail due north, I 
should have to steer 9° 40' westward of the north indi- 
cated by the compass and which was not north at all. 
So I added 9° 40' to the left of my west-by-south 
course, thus getting my correct Magnetic Course, and 
was ready once more to run to open sea. 

Again alas and alack ! The Correct Magnetic 
Course was not the Compass Course. There was an- 
other sly little devil lying in wait to trip me up and 
land me smashing on the reefs of Vatu Leile. This 
little devil went by the name of Deviation. I read : 

" The Compass Course is the course to steer, and is derived from 
the Correct Magnetic Course by applying to it the Deviation." 

Now Deviation is the variation in the needle caused 
by the distribution of iron on board ship. This 
purely local variation I derived from the deviation 
card of my standard compass and then applied to the 
Correct Magnetic Course. The result was the Com- 
pass Course. And yet, not yet. My standard com- 
pass was amidships on the companionway. My 
steering compass was aft, in the cockpit, near the wheel. 
When the steering compass pointed west-by-south- 
three-quarters-south (the steering course), the standard 
compass pointed west-one-half-north, which was cer- 

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tainly not the steering course. I kept the Snark 
up till she was heading west-by-south-three-quarters- 
south on the 
standard com- 
pass, which 
gave, on the 
steering com- 
pass, south- 

The forego- 
ing operations 
constitute the 
simple little 
matter of set- 
ting a course. 
And the worst 
of it is that one 
must perform 
every step cor- 
rectly or else 
he will hear 
ahead ! " some 
pleasant night, 
receive a nice 
sea-bath, and 
be given the 
d e 1 ig h t f u 1 
diversion of 
fighting his way to the shore through a horde of man- 
eating sharks. 

Just as the compass is tricky and strives to fool the 
mariner by pointing in all directions except north, so 

Snark at Suva-Fiji Islands. 

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does that guide-post of the sky, the sun, persist in not 
being where it ought to be at a given time. This 
carelessness of the sun is the cause of more trouble — 
at least it caused trouble for me. To find out where 
one is on the earth's surface, he must know, at pre- 
cisely the same time, where the sun is in the heavens. 
That is to say, the sun, which is the timekeeper for 
men, doesn't nm on time. When I discovered this, I 
fell into deep gloom and all the Cosmos was filled with 
doubt. Immutable laws, such as gravitation and the 
conservation of energy, became wobbly, and I was pre- 
pared to witness their violation at any moment and to 
remain unastonished. For see, if the compass lied and 
the sun did not keep its engagements, why should not 
objects lose their mutual attraction and why should 
not a few bushel baskets of force be annihilated ? 
Even perpetual motion became possible, and I was in 
a frame of mind prone to purchase Keeley-Motor 
stock from the first enterprising agent that landed on 
the Snark's deck. And when I discovered that the 
earth really rotated on its axis 366 times a year, while 
there were only 365 sunrises and sunsets, I was ready 
to doubt my own identity. 

This is the way of the sun. It is so irregular that 
it is impossible for man to devise a clock that will 
keep the sun's time. The sun accelerates and retards 
as no clock could be made to accelerate and retard. 
The suti is sometimes ahead of its schedule ; at other 
times it is lagging behind ; and at still other times it is 
breaking the speed limit in order to overtake itself, or, 
rather, to catch up with where it ought to be in the 
sky. In this last case it does not slow down quick 
enough, and, as a result, goes dashing ahead of where 

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it ought to be. In fact, only four days in a year do 
the sun and the place where the sun ought to be hap- 
pen to coincide. The remaining 361 days the sun is 
pothering around all over the shop. Man, being 

South Sea Island Beauties riding in the Snark^s Launch. 

more perfect than the sun, makes a clock that keeps 
regular time. Also, he calculates how far the sun is 
ahead of its schedule or behind. The difference be- 
tween tJie sun's position and the position where the 
sun ought to be if it were a decent, self-respecting sun, 
man calls the Equation of Time. Thus, the navi- 

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gator endeavoring to find his ship's position on the 
sea, looks in his chronometer to see where precisely 
the sun ought to be according to the Greenwich cus- 
todian of the sun. Then to that location he applies 
the Equation of Time and finds out where the sun 
ought to be and isn't. This latter location, along 
with several other locations, enable him to find out 
what the man from Kansas demanded to know some 
years ago. 

The Snark sailed from Fiji on Saturday, June 6, 
and the next day, Sunday, on the wide ocean, out of 
sight of land, I proceeded to endeavor to find out my 
position by a chronometer sight for longitude and by 
a meridian observation for latitude. The chronometer 
sight was taken in the morning, when the sun was 
some 21^ above the horizon. I looked in the Nauti- 
cal Almanac and found that on that very day, June 7, 
the sun was behind time i minute and 26 seconds, 
and that it was catching up at a rate of 14.67 seconds 
per hour. The chronometer said that at the precise 
moment of taking the sun's altitude it was twenty-five 
minutes after eight o'clock at Greenwich. From this 
date it would seem a schoolboy's task to correct the 
Equation of Time. Unfortunately, I was not a 
schoolboy. Obviously, at the middle of the day, at 
Greenwich, the sun was i minute and 26 seconds be- 
hind time. Equally obviously, if it were eleven o'clock 
in the morning, the sun would be i minute and 26 
seconds behind time plus 14.67 seconds. If it were 
ten o'clock in the morning, twice 14.67 seconds would 
have to be added. And if it were 8:25 in* the morn- 
ing, then 3^ times 14.67 seconds would have to be 
added. Quite clearly, then, if, instead of being 8 : 25 

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A.M., it were 8 : 25 p.m., then 8^ times 14.67 seconds 
would have to be, not added, but subtracted; for, if, at 
noon, the sun were i minute and 26 seconds behind 
time, and if it were catching up with where it ought 
to be at the rate of 14.67 seconds per hour, then at 
8.25 p.M it would be much nearer where it ought to 
be than it had been at noon. 

So far, so good. But was that 8 : 25 of the chro- 
nometer A.M. or P.M.? I looked at the Snark^s clock. 
It marked 8 : 9, and it was certainly a.m., for I had 
just finished breakfast. Therefore, if it was eight in 
the morning on board the Snark, the eight o'clock of 
the chronometer (which was the time of the day at 
Greenwich) must be a different eight o'clock from the 
Snark's eight o'clock. But what eight o'clock was it ? 
It can't be the eight o'clock of this morning, I 
reasoned ; therefore, it must be either eight o'clock 
this evening or eight o'clock last night. 

It was at this juncture that I fell into the bottomless 
pit of intellectual chaos. We are in east longitude, I 
reasoned, therefore we are ahead of Greenwich. If we 
are behind Greenwich, then to-day is yesterday ; if we 
are ahead of Greenwich, then yesterday is to-day, but 
if yesterday is to-day, what under the sun is to-day! — 
to-morrow? Absurd ! Yet it must be correct. When 
I took the sun this morning at 8:25, the sun's custo- 
dians at Greenwich were just arising from dinner last 

" Then correct the Equation of Time for yesterday," 
says my logical mind. 

'* But to-day is to-day," my literal mind insists. 
"I must correct the sun for to-day and not for yester- 

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" Yet to-day is yesterday," urges my logical mind. 

" That's all very well/' my literal mind continues. 
" If I were in Greenwich I might be in yesterday. 
Strange things happen in Greenwich. But I know as 

A South Sea Islander. 

sure as I am living that I am here, now, in to-day, 
June 7, and that I took the sun here, now, to-day, 
June 7. Therefore, I must correct the sun here, now, 
to-day, June 7." 

" Bosh ! " snaps my logical mind. " Lecky says — " 
" Never mind what Lecky says," interrupts my 

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literal mind. " Let me tell you what the Nautical 
Almanac says. The Nautical Almanac says that to- 
day, June 7, the sun was i minute and 26 seconds be- 
hind time and catching up at the rate of 14.67 seconds 
per hour. It says that yesterday, June 6, the sun was 
I minute and 36 seconds behind time and catching 
up at the rate of 15.66 seconds per hour. You see, 
it is preposterous to think of correcting to-day's sun 
by yesterday's time-table." 

" Fool ! " 


Back and forth they wrangle until my head is'whirl- 
ing around and I am ready to believe that I am in the 
day after the last week before next. 

I remembered a parting caution of the Suva harbor- 
master : " In east longitude take from the Nautical Al- 
manac the elements for the preceding day^ 

Then a new thought came to me. I corrected the 
Equation of Time for Sunday and for Saturday, mak- 
ing two separate operations of it, and lo, when the 
results were compared, there was a difference only 
of four-tenths of a second. I was a changed man. 
I had found my way out of the crypt. The 
Snark was scarcely big enough to hold me and my 
experience. Four-tenths of a second would make 
a difference of only one-tenth of a mile — a cable- 
length ! 

All went merrily for ten minutes, when I chanced 
upon the following rhyme for navigators : 

" Greenwich time least 
Longitude east ; 
Greenwich best. 
Longitude west." 

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Heavens ! The Snark's time was not as good as 
Greenwich time. When it was 8 : 25 a:t Greenwich, 
on board the Snark it was only 8:9. " Greenwich 

Taupous, or Village Maidens, Island of Savaii, Samoan Group. 

time best, longitude west." There I was. In west 
longitude beyond a doubt, 

" Silly ! *' cries my literal mind. " You are 8 : 9 
A.M. and Greenwich is 8 : 25 p.m." 

" Very well," answers my logical mind. " To be 
correct, 8.25 p.m. is really twenty hours and twenty- 
five minutes, and that is certainly better than eight 

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hours and nine minutes. No, there is no discussion ; 
you are in west longitude." 

Then my literal mind triumphs. 

" We sailed from Suva, in the Fijis, didn't we ? " it 
demands, and logical mind agrees. " And Suva is in 
east longitude ? " Again logical mind agrees. "And 
we sailed west (which would take us deeper into east 
longitude), didn't we? Therefore, and you can't 
escape it, we are in east longitude," 

" Greenwich time best, longitude west," chants 
my logical mind ; " and you must grant that twenty 
hours and twenty-five minutes is better than eight 
hours and nine minutes." 

" All right," I break in upon the squabble ; " we'll 
work up the sight and then we'll see." 

And work it up I did, only to find that my longi- 
tude was 1 84^ west. 

" I told you so," snorts my logical mind. 

I am dumbfounded. So is my literal mind, for 
several minutes. Then it enounces : 

"But there is no 184° west longitude, nor east 
longitude, nor any other longitude. The largest 
meridian is 180° as you ought to know very well." 

Having got this far, literal mind collapses from the 
brain strain, logical mind is dumb flabbergasted; and 
as for me, I get a bleak and wintry look in my eyes 
and go around wondering whether I am sailing toward 
the China coast or the Gulf of Darien. 

Then a thin small voice, which I do not recognize, 
coming from nowhere in particular in my conscious- 
ness, says : 

" The total number of degrees is 360. Subtract the 
184° west longitude from 360°, and you will get 
176° east longitude." 

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"That is sheer speculation," objects literal mind; 
and logical mind remonstrates. "There is no rule for 

" Darn the rules ! " I exclaim. " Ain't I here ? 

" The thing is self-evident," I continue. " 1 84^ 
west longitude means a lapping over in east longi- 
tude of four degrees. Besides I have been in east 
longitude all the time. I sailed from Fiji, and Fiji 
is in east longitude. Now I shall chart my position 
and prove it by dead reckoning." 

But* other troubles and doubts awaited me. Here 
is a sample of one. In south latitude, when the sun 
is in northern declination, chronometer sights may be 
taken early in the morning. I took mine at eight 
, o'clock. Now, one of the necessary elements in work- 
ing up such a sight is latitude. But one gets latitude 
at twelve o'clock, noon, by a meridian observation. 
It is clear that in order to work up my eight o'clock 
chronometer sight I must have my eight o'clock lati- 
tude. Of course, if the Snark were sailing due west 
at six knots per hour, for the intervening Tour hours 
her latitude would not change. But if she were sailing 
due south, her latitude would change to the tune of 
twenty-four miles. In which case a simple addition 
or subtraction would convert the twelve o'clock latitude 
into eight o'clock latitude. But suppose the Snark 
were sailing southwest. Then the traverse tables must 
be consulted. 

This is the illustration. At eight a.m. I took my 
chronometer sight. At the same moment the distance 
recorded on the log was noted. At twelve m., when 
the sight for latitude was taken, I again noted the log, 
which showed me that since eight o'clock the Snark 

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had run 24 miles. Her true course had been west 
1^ south. I entered Table I, in the distance column, 
on the page for |^ point courses, and stopped at 24, the 
number of miles run. Opposite, in the next two col- 

Between Black Diamonds. 
(Girls of Savaii, Samoa.) 

umns, I found that the Snark had made 3.5 miles of 
southing or latitude, and that she had made 23.7 miles 
of westing. To find my eight o'clock latitude was 
easy. I had but to subtract 3.5 miles from my noon 
latitude. All the elements being present, I worked up 
my longitude. 

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But this was my eight o'clock longitude. Since 
then, and up till noon, I had made 23.7 miles of west- 
ing. What was my noon longitude ? I followed the 
rule, turning to Traverse Table No. II. Entering tHe 
table, according to rule, and going through every de- 
tail, according to rule, I found the difference of longi- 
tude for the four hours to be 25 miles. I was aghast. 
I entered the table again, according to rule ; I entered 
the table half a dozen times, according to rule, and 
every time found that my difference of longitude was 
25 miles. I leave it to you, gentle reader. Suppose 
you had sailed 24 miles and that you had covered 3.5 
miles of latitude, then how could you have covered 
25 miles of longitude ? Even if you had sailed due 
west 24 miles, and not changed your latitude, how could 
you have changed your longitude 25 miles ? In the 
name of human reason, how could you cover one mile 
more of longitude than the total number of miles you 
had sailed ? 

It was a reputable traverse table, being none other 
than Bowditch's. The rule was simple (as navigators' 
rules go) ; I had made no error. I spent an hour 
over it, and at the end still faced the glaring impossi- 
bility of having sailed 24 miles, in the course of which 
I changed my latitude 3.5 miles and my longitude 25 
miles. The worst of it was that there was nobody to 
help me out. Neither Charmian nor Martin knew as 
much as I knew about navigation. And all the time 
the Snark was rushing madly along toward Tanna, in 
the New Hebrides. Something had to be done. 

How it came to me I know not — call it an inspira- 
tion if you will ; but the thought arose in me: if south- 
ing is latitude, why isn't westing longitude? Why 

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should I have to change westing into longitude? And 
then the whole beautiful situation dawned upon me. 
The meridians of longitude are 60 miles (nautical) 
apart at the equator. At the poles they run together. 

Maids of the Village, Savaii, Samoa. 

Thus, if I should travel up the 180° meridian of lon- 
gitude until I reached the North Pole, and if the astron- 
omer at Greenwich travelled up the 0° meridian of 
longitude to the North Pole, then, at the North Pole, 
we could shake hands with each other, though before 
we started for the North Pole we had been some thou- 

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sands of miles apart. Again : if a degree of longitude 
was 60 miles wide at the equator, and if the same 
degree, at the point of the Pole, had no width, then 
somewhere between the Pole and the equator that 
degree would be half a mile wide, and at other places 
a mile wide, two miles wide, ten miles wide, thirty 
miles wide, ay, and sixty miles wide. 

All was plain again. The Snark was in 19° south 
latitude. The world wasn't as big around there as at 
the equator. Therefore, every mile of westing at 19° 
south was more than a minute of longitude ; for sixty 
miles were sixty miles, but sixty minutes are sixty 
miles only at the equator. George Francis Train broke 
Jules Verne's record of around the world. But any 
man that wants can break George Francis Train's 
record. Such a man would need only to go, in a fast 
steamer, to the latitude of Cape Horn, and sail due 
east all the way around. The world is very small in 
that latitude, and there is no land in the way to turn 
hini out of his course. If his steamer maintained six- 
teen knots, he would circumnavigate the globe in just 
about forty days. 

But there are compensations. On Wednesday even- 
ing, June 10, I brought up my noon position by dead 
reckoning to eight p.m. Then I projected the Snark' s 
course and saw that she would strike Futuna, one of the 
easternmost of the New Hebrides, a volcanic cone two 
thousand feet high that rose out of the deep ocean. I 
altered the course so that the Snark would pass ten miles 
to the northward. Then I spoke to Wada, the cook, 
who had the wheel every morning from four to six. 

" Wada San, to-morrow morning, your watch, you 
look sharp on weather-bow you see land." 

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And then I went to bed. The die was cast. I had 
staked my reputation as a navigator. Suppose, just 
suppose, that at daybreak there was no land. Then, 
where would my navigation be ? And where would 
we be ? And how would we ever find ourselves ? or 
find any land ? I caught ghastly visions of the Snark 
sailing for months through ocean solitudes and seeking 
vainly for land while we consumed our provisions and 
sat down with haggard faces to stare cannibalism in the 

I confess my sleep was not 

** . , . like a summer sky 
That held the music of a lark." 

Rather did " I waken to the voiceless dark," and listen 
to the creaking of the bulkheads and the rippling of 
the sea alongside as the Snark logged steadily her six 
knots an hour. I went over my calculations again and 
again, striving to find some mistake, until my brain was 
in such fever that it discovered dozens of mistakes. 
Suppose, instead of being sixty miles oflF Futuna, that 
my navigation was all wrong and that I was only six 
miles oflF? In which case my course would be wrong, 
too, and for all I knew the Snark might be running 
straight at Futuna. For all I knew the Snark might 
strike Futuna the next moment. I almost sprang from 
the bunk at that thought ; and, though I restrained 
myself, I know that I lay for a moment, nervous and 
tense, waiting for the shock. 

My sleep was broken by miserable nightmares. 
Earthquake seemed the favorite affliction, though there 
was one man, with a bill, who persisted in dunning 
me throughout the night. Also, he wanted to fight ; 

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and Charmian continually persuaded me to let him 
alone. Finally, however, the man with the everlasting 
dun ventured into a dream from which Charmian was 
absent. It was my opportunity, and we went at it, 

A Samoan Policeman. 

gloriously, all over the sidewalk and street, until he 
cried enough. Then I said, " Now how about that 
bill ? ** Having conquered, I was willing to pay. But 
the man looked at me and groaned. " It was all a 
mistake," he said; "the bill is for the house next 

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That settled him, for he worried my dreams no 
more ; and it settled me, too, for I woke up chuckling 
at the episode. It was three in the morning. I went 
up on deck. Henry, the Rapa islander, was steering. 
I looked at the log. It recorded forty-two miles. The 
Snark had not abated her six-knot gait, and she 
had not struck Futuna yet. At half-past five I 
was again on deck. Wada, at the wheel, had seen no 
land. I sat on the cockpit rail, a prey to morbid 
doubt for a quarter of an hour. Then I saw land, a 
small, high piece of land, just where it ought to be, 
rising from the water on the weather-bow. At six 
o'clock I could clearly make it out to be the beautiful 
volcanic cone of Futuna. At eight o'clock, when it 
was abreast, I took its distance by the sextant and 
found it to be 9.3 miles away. And I had elected to 
pass it 10 miles away ! 

Then, to the south, Aneiteum rose out of the sea, 
to the north, Aniwa, and, dead ahead, Tanna. There 
was no mistaking Tanna, for the smoke of its volcano 
was towering high in the sky. It was forty miles away, 
and by afternoon, as we drew close, never ceasing to log 
our six knots, we saw that it was a mountainous, hazy 
land, with no apparent openings in its coast-line. I 
was looking for Port Resolution, though I was quite 
prepared to find that as an anchorage, it had been de- 
stroyed. Volcanic earthquakes had lifted its bottom 
during the last forty years, so that where once the larg- 
est ships rode at anchor there was now, by last reports, 
scarcely space and depth sufficient for the Snark. And 
why should not another convulsion, since the last report, 
have closed the harbor completely .^ 

I ran in close to the unbroken coast, fringed with rocks 

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awash upon which the crashing trade-wind sea burst 
white and high. I searched with my glasses for miles, 
but could see no entrance. I took a compass bearing of 
Futuna, another of Aniwa, and laid them ofFon thechart. 
Where the two bearings crossed was bound to be the 
position of the Snark. Then, with my parallel rulers, 
I laid down a course from the Snark's position to Port 
Resolution. Having corrected this course for variation 
and deviation, I went on deck, and lo, the course di- 
rected me towards that unbroken coast-line of bursting 
seas. To my Rapa islander's great concern, I held on 
till the rocks awash were an eighth of a mile away. 

" No harbor this place," he announced, shaking his 
head ominously. 

. But I .altered the course and ran along parallel with 
the coast. Charmian was at the wheel. Martin was at 
the engine, ready to throw on the propeller. A narrow 
slit of an opening showed up suddenly. Through the 
glasses I could seethe seas breaking clear across. Henry, 
the Rapa man, looked with troubled eyes ; so did Tehei, 
the Tahaa man. 

" No passage there,** said Henry. "We go there, we 
finish quick, sure." 

I confess I thought so, too; but I ran on abreast, 
watching to see if the line of breakers from one side the 
entrance did not overlap the line from the other side. 
Sure enough, it did. A narrow place where the sea 
ran smooth appeared. Charmian put down the wheel 
and steadied tor the entrance. Martin threw on the 
engine, while all hands and the cook sprang to take 
in sail. 

A trader's house showed up in the bight of the bay. 
A geyser, on the shore, a hundred yards away, spouted 

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a column of steam. To port, as we rounded a tiny point, 
the mission station appeared. 

" Three fathoms," cried Wada at the lead-line. 

" Three fathoms," " two fathoms," came in quick 

Charmian put the wheel down, Martin stopped the en- 
gine, and the Snark rounded to and the anchor rumbled 
down in three fathoms. Before we could catch our 
breaths a swarm of black Tannese was alongside and 
aboard — grinning, apelike creatures, with kinky hair 
and troubled eyes, wearing safety-pins and clay-pipes in 
their slitted ears : and as for the rest, wearing nothing be- 
hind and less than that before. And I don't mind tell- 
ing that that night, when everybody was asleep, I sneaked 
up on deck, looked out over the quiet scene, and 
gloated — yes, gloated — over my navigation. 

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Cruising in the Solomons 

" Why not come along now ? " said Captain Jansen 
to us, at PendufFryn, on the island of Guadalcanar. 

Charmian and I looked at each other and debated 
silently for half a minute. Then we nodded our heads 
simultaneously. It is a way we have of making up 
our minds to do things; and a very good way it is 
when one has no temperamental tears to shed over the 
last tin of condensed milk when it has capsized. (We 
are living on tinned goods these days, and since mind 
is rumored to be an emanation of matter, our similes 
are naturally of the packing-house variety.) 

" You'd better bring your revolvers along, and a 
couple of rifles," said Captain Jansen. " IVe got five 
rifles aboard, though the one Mauser is without am- 
munition. Have you a few rounds to spare ? " 

We brought our rifles on board, several handfuls of 
Mauser cartridges, and Wada and Nakata, the S nark's 
cook and cabin-boy respectively. Wada and Nakata 
were in a bit of a funk. To say the least, they were 
not enthusiastic, though never did Nakata show the 
white feather in the face of danger. The Solomon Is- 
lands had not dealt kindly with them. In the first place, 
both had suffered from Solomon sores. So had the rest 
of us (at the time, I was nursing two fresh ones on a diet 
of corrosive sublimate) ; but the two Japanese had had 
more than their share. And the sores are not nice. 
They may be described as excessively active ulcers. 


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A mosquito bite, a cut, or the slightest abrasion, serves 
for lodgment of the poison with which the air seems to 
be filled. Immediately the ulcer commences to eat. 
It eats in every direction, consuming skin and muscle 
with astounding rapidity. The pin-point ulcer of the 
first day is the size of a dime by the second day, and 

Typical Coast Scene — Solomons. 

by the end of the week a silver dollar will not cover 

Worse than the sores, the two Japanese had been 
aflJicted with Solomon Island fever. Each had been 
down repeatedly with it, and in their weak, convalescent 
moments they were wont to huddle together on the 
portion of the Snark that happened to be nearest to 
faraway Japan, and to gaze yearningly in that direction. 

But worst of all, they were now brought on board 
the Minota for a recruiting cruise along the savage 

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coast of Malaita. Wada, who had the worse funk, was 
sure, that he would never see Japan again, and with 
bleak, lack-lustre eyes he watched our rifles and am- 
munition going on board the Minota. He knew about 
the Minota and her Malaita cruises. He knew that 
she had been captured six months before onthe Malaita 
coast, that her captain had been chopped to pieces 
with tomahawks, and that, according to the barbarian 
sense of equity on that sweet isle, she owed two more 
heads. Also, a laborer on PenduflFryn Plantation, a 
Malaita boy, had just died of dysentery, and Wada 
knew that Penduffryn had been put in the debt of 
Malaita by one more head. Furthermore, in stowing 
our luggage away in the skipper's tiny cabin, he saw 
the axe gashes on the door where the triumphant bush- 
men had cut their way in. And, finally, the galley, 
stove was without a pipe — said pipe having been part 
of the loot. 

The Minota was a teak-built, Australian yacht, ketch- 
rigged, long and lean, with a deep fin-keel, and de- 
signed for harbor racing rather than for recruiting 
blacks. When Charmian and I came on board, we 
found her crowded. Her double boat's crew, includ- 
ing substitutes, was fifteen, and she had a score and 
more of" return " boys, whose time on the plantations 
was served and who were bound back to their bush 
villages. To look at, they were certainly true head- 
hunting cannibals. Their perforated nostrils were 
thrust through with bone and wooden bodkins the size 
of lead-pencils. Numbers of them had punctured the 
extreme meaty point of the nose, from which protruded, 
straight out, spikes of turtle-shell or of beads strung 
on stiflF wire. A few had further punctured their noses 

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with rows of holes following the curves of the nostrils 
from lip to point. Each ear of every man had from 
two to a dozen holes in it — holes large enough to 
carry wooden plugs three inches in diameter down to 
tiny holes in which were carried clay-pipes and similar 
trifles. In fact, so many holes did they possess that 

Coast at Maravovo, Guadalcanar. 

they lacked ornaments to fill them ; and when, the 
following day, as we neared Malaita, we tried out our 
rifles to see that they were in working order, there was 
a general scramble for the empty cartridges, which were 
thrust forthwith into the many aching voids in our 
passengers' ears. 

At the time we tried out our rifles we put up our 
barbed wire railings. The Minota^ crown-decked, 
without any house, and with a rail six inches high, was 

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too accessible to boarders. So brass stanchions were 
screwed into the rail and a double row of barbed wire 
stretched around her from stem to stern and back 
again. Which was all very well as a protection from 
savages, but it was mighty uncomfortable to those on 
board when the Minota took to jumping and plunging 
in a sea-way. When one dislikes sliding down upon 
the lee-rail barbed wire, and when he dares not catch 
hold of the weather-rail barbed wire to save himself 
from shding, and when, with these various disinclina- 
tions, he finds himself on a smooth flush-deck that is 
heeled over at an angle of forty-five degrees, some of 
the delights of Solomon Islands cruising may be com- 
prehended. Also, it must be remembered, the penalty 
of a fall into the barbed wire is more than the mere 
scratches, for each scratch is practically certain to be- 
come a venomous ulcer. That caution will not save 
one from the wire was evidenced one fine morning 
when we were running along the Malaita coast with 
the breeze on our quarter. The wind was fresh, and 
a tidy sea was making. A black boy was at the wheel. 
Captain Jansen, Mr. Jacobsen (the mate), Charmian, 
and I had just sat down on deck to breakfast. Three 
unusually large seas caught us. The boy at the wheel 
lost his head. Three times the Minota was swept. 
The breakfast was rushed over the lee-rail. The 
knives and forks went through the scuppers; a boy 
aft went clean overboard and was dragged back ; and 
our doughty skipper lay half inboard and half out, 
jammed in the barbed wire. After that, for the rest 
of the cruise, our joint use of the several remaining 
eating utensils was a splendid example of primitive 
communism. On the Eugenie^ however, it was even 

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worse, for we had but one teaspoon among four of us 
— but the Eugenie is another story. 

Our first port was Su'u on the west coast of Malaita. 
The Solomon Islands are on the fringe of things. It 
is difficult enough sailing on dark nights through reef- 
spiked channels and across erratic currents where there 

Four Old Rascals. 

are no lights to guide (from northwest to southeast the 
Solomons extend across a thousand miles of sea, and 
on all the thousands of miles of coasts there is not one 
lighthouse) ; but the difficulty is seriously enhanced 
by the fact that the land itself is not correctly charted. 
Su'u is an example. On the Admiralty chart of Ma- 
laita the coast at this point runs a straight, unbroken 
line. Yet across this straight, unbroken line the Minota 

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sailed in twenty fathoms of water. Where the land 
was alleged to be, was a deep indentation. Into this 
we sailed, the mangroves closing about us, till we 
dropped anchor in a mirrored pond. Captain Jansen 
did not like the anchorage. . It was the first time he 
had been there, and Su'uhadabad reputation. There 
was no wind with which to get away in case of 
attack, while the crew could be bushwhacked to a 
man if they attempted to tow out in the whale-boat. 
It was a pretty trap, if trouble blew up. 

" Suppose the Minota went ashore — what would 
you do ?" I asked. 

" She's not going ashore," was Captain Jansen*s 

" But just in case she did?" I insisted. 

He considered for a moment and shifted his glance 
from the mate buckling on a revolver to the boat's crew 
climbing into the whale-boat each man with a rifle. 

" We'd get into the whale-boat, and get out of here 
as fast as a God'd let us," came the skipper's delayed 

He explained at length that no white man was sure 
of his Malaita crew in a tight place; that the bushmen 
looked upon all wrecks as their personal property ; that 
the bushmen possessed plenty of Snider rifles ; and 
that he had on board a dozen " return " boys for Su'u 
who were certain to join in with their friends and relatives 
ashore when it came to looting the Minota. 

The first work of the whale-boat was to take the 
return boys and their trade-boxes ashore. Thus one 
danger was removed. While this was being done, a 
canoe came alongside manned by three naked savages. 
And when I say naked, I mean naked. Not one 

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vestige of clothing did they have on, unless nose- 
rings, ear-plugs, and shell armlets be accounted clothing. 
The head man in the canoe was an old chief, one-eyed, 
reputed to be friendly, and so dirty that a boat-scraper 
would have lost its edge on him. His mission was to 
warn the skipper against allowing any of his people to 

The Two Handsomest Men in the Solomons. 

go ashore. The old fellow repeated the warning again 
that night. 

In vain did the whale-boat ply about the shores of 
the bay in quest of recruits. The bush was full of 
armed natives, all willing enough to talk with the re- 
cruiter, but not one would engage to sign on for three 
years' plantation labor at six pounds per year. Yet 
they were anxious enough to get our people ashore. 
On the second day they raised a smoke on the beach 
at the head of the bay. This being the customary 
signal of men desiring to recruit, the boat was sent. 

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But nothing resulted. No one recruited, nor were any 
of our men lured ashore. A little later we caught 
glimpses of a number of armed natives moving about 
on the beach. 

Outside of these rare glimpses, there was no telling 
how many might be lurking in the bush. There was 
no penetrating that primeval jungle with the eye. In 
the afternoon, Captain Jansen, Charmian, and I went 
dynamiting fish. Each one of the boat's crew carried 
a Lee-Enfield. " Johnny," the native recruiter, had a 
Winchester beside him at the steering sweep. We 
rowed in close to a portion of the shore that looked 
deserted. Here the boat was turned around and backed 
in ; in case of attack, the boat would be ready to dash 
away. In all the time I was on Malaita I never saw a 
boat land bow on. In fact, the recruiting vessels use 
two boats — one to go in on the beach, armed, of course, 
and the other to lie off several hundred feet and ** cover" 
the first boat. The Minotay however, being a small 
vessel, did not carry a covering boat. 

We were close in to the shore and working in closer, 
stern-first, when a school of fish was sighted. The 
fuse was ignited and the stick of dynamite thrown. 
With the explosion, the surface of the water was broken 
by the flash of leaping fish. At the same instant the 
woods broke into life. A score of naked savages, 
armed with bows and arrows, spears, and Sniders, 
burst out upon the shore. At the same moment our 
boat's crew lifted their rifles. And thus the opposing 
parties faced each other, while our extra boys dived 
over after the stunned fish. 

Three fruitless days were spent at Su'u. The 
Minota got no recruits from the bush, and the bush- 

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Charm ian Goes to Market 

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men got no heads from the Minota. In fact, the only 
one who got anything was Wada, and his was a nice 
dose of fever. We towed out with the whale-boat, 
and ran along the coast to Langa Langa, a large village 
of salt-water people, built with prodigious labor on a 
lagoon sand-bank — literally built up, an artificial 
island reared as a refuge from the blood-thirsty bush- 
men. Here, also, on the shore side of the lagoon, 
was Binu, the place where the Minota was captured 
half a year previously and her captain killed by the 
bushmen. As we sailed in through the narrow en- 
trance, a canoe came alongside with the news that 
the man-of-war had just left that morning after having 
burned three villages, killed some thirty pigs, and 
drowned a baby. This was the Cambriariy Captain 
Lewes commanding. He and I had first met in Korea 
during the Japanese-Russian War, and we had been 
crossing each other's trail ever since without ever a 
meeting. The day the Snark sailed into Suva, in the 
Fijis, we made out the Cambrian going out. At Vila, 
in the New Hebrides, we missed each other by one 
day. We passed each other in the night-time off the 
island of Santo. And the day the Cambrian arrived 
at Tulagi, we sailed from PendufFryn, a dozen miles 
away. And here at Langa Langa we had missed by 
several hours. 

The Cambrian had come to punish the murderers 
of the Minota' s captain, but what she had succeeded in 
doing we did not learn until later in the day, when a 
Mr. Abbot, a missionary, came alongside in his whale- 
boat. The villages had been burned and the pigs 
killed. But the natives had escaped personal harm. 
The murderers had not been captured, though the 

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Mtnoias flag and other of her gear had been recovered. 
The drowning of the baby had come about through a 
misunderstanding. Chief Johnny, of Binu, had de- 
clined to guide the landing party into the bush, nor 
could any of his men be induced to perform that office. 
Whereupon Captain Lewes, righteously indignant, had 
told Chief Johnny that he deserved to have his village 

Island of Uru — Hand-manufactured — Malaita. 

burned. Johnny's beche de mer English did not include 
the word " deserve." So his understanding of it was 
that his village was to be burned anyway. The immediate 
stampede of the inhabitants was so hurried that the 
baby was dropped into the water. In the meantime 
Chief Johnny hastened to Mr. Abbot. Into his hand 
he put fourteen sovereigns and requested him to go on 
board the Cambrian and buy Captain Lewes off. 
Johnny's village was not burned. Nor did Captain 

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Lewes get the fourteen sovereigns, for I saw them 
later in Johnny's possession when he boarded the Minota. 
The excuse Johnny gave me for not guiding the land- 
ing party was a big boil which he proudly revealed. 
His real reason, however, and a perfectly valid one, 
though he did not state it, was fear of revenge on the 
part of the bushmen. Had he, or any of his men, 
guided the marines, he could have looked for bloody 
reprisals as soon as the Cambrian weighed anchor. 

As an illustration of conditions in the Solomons, 
Johnny's business on board was to turn over, for a 
tobacco consideration, the sprit, mainsail, and jib of a 
whale-boat. Later in the day, a Chief Billy came on 
board and turned over, for a tobacco consideration,. the 
mast and boom. This gear belonged to a whale-boat 
which Captain Jansen had recovered the previous trip 
of the Minota. The whale-boat belonged to Meringe 
Plantation on the island of Ysabel. Eleven contract 
laborers, Malaita men and bushmen at that, had 
decided to run away. Being bushmen, they knew 
nothing of salt water nor of the way of a boat in the 
sea. So they persuaded two natives of San Cristoval, 
salt-water men, to run away with them. It served the 
San Cristoval men right. They should have known 
better. When they had safely navigated the stolen 
boat to Malaita, they had their heads hacked off for 
their pains. It was this boat and gear that Captain 
Jansen had recovered. 

Not for nothing have I journeyed all the way to the 
Solomons. At last I have seen Charmian's proud 
spirit humbled and her emperious queendom of fem- 
ininity dragged in the dust. It happened at Langa 
Langa, ashore, on the manufactured island which one 

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cannot see for the houses. Here, surrounded by hun- 
dreds of unblushing naked men, women, and children, 
we wandered about and saw the sights. We had our 
revolvers strapped on, and the boat's crew, fully armed, 
lay at the oars, stern in ; but the lesson of the man-of- 
war was too recent for us to apprehend trouble. We 


Kfliiwi^^ ^ 


The Island of Langa Langa, built up from the Sea by the Salt-water Men. 

walked about everywhere and saw everything until at 
last we approached a large tree trunk that served as a 
bridge across a shallow estuary. The blacks formed a 
wall in front of us and refused to let us pass. We 
wanted to know why we were stopped. The blacks 
said we could go on. We misunderstood, and started. 
Explanations became more definite. Captain Jansen 
and I, being men, could go on. But no Mary was 
allowed to wade around that bridge, much less cross it. 
" Mary " is beche de mer for woman. Charmian was a 

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Mary. To her the bridge was tambo, which is the 
native for taboo. Ah, how my chest expanded ! At 
last my manhood was vindicated. In truth I belonged 
to the lordly sex. Charmian could trapes along at 
our heels, but we were MEN, and we could go right 
over that bridge while she would have to go around by 

Now I should not care to be misunderstood by 
what follows ; but it is a matter of common knowledge 
in the Solomons that attacks of fever are often brought 
on by shock. Inside half an hour after Charmian had 
been refused the right of way, she was being rushed 
aboard the MinotOy packed in blankets, and dosed with 
quinine. I don't know what kind of shock had 
happened to Wada and Nakata, but at any rate they 
were down with fever as well. The Solomons might 
be healthfuller. 

Also, during the attack of fever, Charmian developed 
a Solomon sore. It was the last straw. Every one 
on the Snark had been afflicted except her. I had 
thought that I was going to lose my foot at the ankle 
by one exceptionally malignant boring ulcer. Henry 
and Tehei, the Tahitian sailors, had had numbers of 
them. Wada had been able to count his by the score. 
Nakata had had single ones three inches in length. 
Martin had been quite certain that necrosis of his shin- 
bone had set in from the roots of the amazing colony 
he elected to cultivate in that locality. But Charmian 
had escaped. Out of her long immunity had been 
bred a contempt for the rest of us. Her ego was 
flattered to such an extent that one day she shyly 
informed me that it was all a matter of pureness of 
blood. Since all the rest of us cultivated the sores. 

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and since she did not — well, anyway, hers was the 
size of a silver dollar, and the pureness of her blood 
enabled her to cure it after several weeks of strenuous 
nursing. She pins her faith to corrosive sublimate. 
Martin swears by iodoform. Henry uses lime-juice 
u^idiluted. And I believe that when corrosive subli- 

A Salt-water Fastness. 

mate is slow in taking hold, alternate dressings of per- 
oxide of hydrogen are just the thing. There are 
white men in the Solomons who stake all upon boracic 
acid, and others who are prejudiced in favor of lysol. 
I also have the weakness of a panacea. It is California. 
I defy any man to get a Solomon Island sore in Cali- 

We ran down the lagoon from Langa Langa, between 
mangrove swamps, through passages scarcely wider 

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than the MinotOy and past the reef villages of Kaloka 
and Auki. Like the founders of Venice, these salt- 
water men were originally refugees from the mainland. 
Too weak to hold their own in the bush, survivors of 
village massacres, they fled to the sand-banks of the 
lagoon. These sand-banks they built up into islands. 
They were compelled to seek their provender from 
the sea, and in time they became salt-water men. 
They learned the ways of the fish and the shell-fish, 
and they invented hooks and lines, nets and fish-traps. 
They developed canoe-bodies. Unable to walk about, 
spending all their time in the canoes, they became 
thick-armed and broad-shouldered, with narrow waists 
and frail spindly legs. Controlling the sea-coast, they 
became wealthy, trade with the interior passing largely 
through their hands. But perpetual enmity exists 
between them and the bushmen. Practically their 
only truces are on market-days, which occur at stated 
intervals, usually twice a week. The bushwomen and 
the salt-water women do the bartering. Back in the 
bush, a hundred yards away, fiilly armed, lurk the 
bushmen, while to seaward, in the canoes, are the salt- 
water men. There are very rare instances of the 
market-day truces being broken. The bushmen like 
their fish too well, while the salt-water men have an 
organic craving for the vegetables they cannot grow 
on their crowded islets. 

Thirty miles from Langa Langa brought us to the 
passage between Bassakanna Island and the mainlana. 
Here, at nightfall, the wind left us, and all night, with 
the whale-boat towing ahead and the crew on board 
sweating at the sweeps, we strove to win through. But 
the tide was against us. At midnight, midway in the 

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passage, we came up with the Eugenie^ a big recruiting 
schooner, towing with two whale-boats. Her skipper. 
Captain Keller, a sturdy young German of twenty-two, 
cameonboardfor a "gam,"and the latest news of Malaita 
was swapped back and forth. He had been in luck, hav- 
ing gathered in twenty recruits at the village of Fiu. 
While lying there, one of the customary courageous kill- 
ings had taken place. The murdered boy was what is 
cal led a salt-water bushman — that is, a salt-water man who 
is half bushman and who lives by the sea but does not live 
on an islet. Three bushmen came down to this man 
where he was working in his garden. They behaved 
in friendly fashion, and after a time suggested kai-kai, 
Kai'kai means food. He built a fire and started to 
boil some taro. While bending over the pot, one of 
the bushmen shot him through the head. He fell 
into the flames, whereupon they thrust a spear through 
his stomach, turned it around, and broke it off. 

" My word," said Captain Keller, " I don't want 
ever to be shot with a Snider. Spread ! You could 
drive a horse and carriage through that hole in his 

Another recent courageous killing I heard of on 
Malaita was that of an old man. A bush chief had 
died a natural death. Now the bushmen don't believe 
in natural deaths. No one was ever known to die a 
natural death. The only way to die is by bullet, toma- 
hawk, or spear thrust. When a man dies in any other 
way, it is a clear case of having been charmed to death. 
When the bush chief died naturally, his tribe placed 
the guilt on a certain family. Since it did not matter 
which one of the family was killed, they selected this 
old man who lived by himself This would make it 

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easy. Furthermore, he possessed no Snider. Also, 
he was blind. The old fellow got an inkling of what 
was coming and laid in a large supply of arrows. 
Three brave warriors, each with a Snider, came down 
upon him in the night-time. All night they fought 
valiantly with him. Whenever they moved in the 
bush and made a noise or a rustle, he discharged an 
arrow in that direction. In the morning, when his 
last arrow was gone, the three heroes crept up to him 
and blew his brains out. 

Morning found us still vainly toiling through the 
passage. At last, in despair, we turned tail, ran out to 
sea, and sailed clear round Bassakanna to our objec- 
tive, Malu. The anchorage at Malu was very good, 
but it lay between the shore and an ugly reef; and 
while easy to enter, it was difficult to leave. The 
direction of the southeast trade necessitated a beat to 
windward ; the point of the reef was widespread and 
shallow ; while a current bore down at all times upon 
the point. 

Mr. Caulfeild, the missionary at Malu, arrived in 
his whale-boat from a trip down the coast. A slender, 
delicate man he was, enthusiastic in his work, level- 
headed and practical, a true twentieth-century soldier 
of the Lord. When he came down to this station on 
Malaita, as he said, he agreed to come for six months. 
He further agreed that if he were alive at the end of 
that time, he would continue on. Six years had passed 
and he was still continuing on. Nevertheless he was 
justified in his doubt as to living longer than six 
months. Three missionaries had preceded him on 
Malaita, and in less than that time two had died of 
fever and the third had gone home a wreck. 

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" What murder are you talking about ? " he asked 
suddenly, in the midst of a confused conversation with 
Captain Jansen. 

Captain Jansen explained. 

" Oh, that's not the one I have reference to," quoth 
Mr. Caulfeild. "That's old already. It happened 
two weeks ago." 

It was here at Malu that I atoned for all the exulting 
and gloating I had been guilty of over the Solomon 

The Market — composed wholly of Women. 

sore Charmian had collected at Langa Langa. Mr. 
Caulfeild was indirectly responsible for my atonement. 
He presented us with a chicken, which I pursued into 
the bush with a rifle. My intention was to clip oflFits 
head. I succeeded, but in doing so fell over a log and 
barked my shin. Result : three Solomon sores. This 
made five all together that were adorning my person. 
Also, Captain Jansen and Nakata had caught ^fln-^fln. 
Literally translated, gari-gari is scratch-scratch. But 
translation was not necessary for the rest of us. The 
skipper's and Nakata's gymnastics served as a transla- 
tion without words. 

(No, the Solomon Islands are not as healthy as they 
might be. I am writing this article on the island of 

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Ysabel, where we have taken the Snark to careen and 
clean her copper. I got over my last attack of fever 
this morning, and I have had only one free day 
between attacks. Charmian's are two weeks apart. 
Wada is a wreck from fever. Last night he showed 
all the symptoms of coming down with pneumonia. 
Henry, a strapping giant of a Tahitian, just up from 
his last dose of fever, is dragging around the deck like 
a last year's crab-apple. Both he and Tehei have 
accumulated a praiseworthy display of Solomon sores. 
Also, they have caught a new form of gari-gariy a sort 
of vegetable poisoning like poison oak or poison ivy. 
But they are not unique in this. A number of days 
ago Charmian, Martin, and I went pigeon-shooting on 
a small island, and we have had a foretaste of eternal 
torment ever since. Also, on that small island, Martin 
cut the soles -of his feet to ribbons on the coral while 
chasing a shark — at least, so he says, but from the 
glimpse I caught of him I thought it was the other 
way about. The coral-cuts have all become Solomon 
sores. Before my last fever I knocked the skin off 
my knuckles while heaving on a line, and I now have 
three fresh sores. And poor Nakata ! For three 
weeks he has been unable to sit down. He sat down 
yesterday for the first time, and managed to stay down 
for fifteen minutes. He says cheerfully that he ex- 
pects to be cured of his gari-gari in another month. 
Furthermore, his gari-gariy from too enthusiastic 
scratch-scratching, has furnished footholds for count- 
less Solomon sores. Still furthermore, he has just 
come down with his seventh attack of fever. If I 
were a king, the worst punishment I could inflict on 
my enemies would be to banish them to the Solomons. 

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On second thought, king or no king, I don't think 
rd have the heart to do it.) 

Recruiting plantation laborers on a small, narrow 
yacht, built for harbor sailing, is not any too nice. 
The decks swarm with recruits and their families. 
The main cabin is packed with them. At night they 

An Island in Process of Manufacture. 

sleep there. The only entrance to our tiny cabin is 
through the main cabin, and we jam our way through 
them or walk over them. Nor is this nice. One and 
all, they are afflicted with every form of malignant skin 
disease. Some have ringworm, others have bukua. 
This latter is caused by a vegetable parasite that in- 
vades the skin and eats it away. The itching is intol- 
erable. The afflicted ones scratch until the air is filled 
with fine dry flakes. Then there are yaws and many 
other skin ulcerations. Men come aboard with 

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Solomon sores in their feet so large that they can walk 
only on their toes, or with holes in their legs so terrible 
that a fist could be thrust in to the bone. Blood- 
poisoning is very frequent, and Captain Jansen, with 
sheath-knife and sail needle, operates lavishly on one 
and all. No matter how desperate the situation, after 
opening and cleansing, he claps on a poultice of sea- 
biscuit soaked in water. Whenever we see a particu- 
larly horrible case, we retire to a" corner and deluge our 
own sores with corrosive sublimate. And so we live 
and eat and sleep on the Minota, taking our chance 
and " pretending it is good." 

At Suava, another artificial island, I had a second 
crow over Charmian. A big fella marster belong 
Suava (which means the high chief of Suava) came on 
board. But first he sent an emissary to Captain 
Jansen for a fathom of calico with which to cover his 
royal nakedness. Meanwhile he lingered in the canoe 
alongside. The regal dirt on his chest I swear was 
half an inch thick, while it was a good wager that the 
underneath layers were anywhere from ten to twenty 
years of age. He sent his emissary on board again, 
who explained that the big fella marster belong Suava 
was condescendingly willing enough to shake hands 
with Captain Jansen and me and cadge a stick or so of 
trade tobacco, but that nevertheless his high-born soul 
was still at so lofty an altitude that it could not sink 
itself to such a depth of degradation as to shake hands 
with a mere female woman. Poor Charmian ! Since 
her Malaita experiences she has become a changed 
woman. Her meekness and humbleness is appallingly 
becoming, and I should not be surprised, when we 
return to civilization and stroll along a sidewalk, to see 

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her take her station, with bowed head, a yard in the 

Nothing much happened at Suava. Bichu, the 
native cook, deserted. The Minota dragged anchor. 
It blew heavy squalls, of wind and rain. The mate, 
Mr. Jacobsen, and Wada were prostrated with fever. 

Solomon Islands Canoe. 

Our Solomon sores increased and multiplied. And the 
cockroaches on board held a combined Fourth of July 
and Coronation Parade. They selected midnight for 
the time, and our tiny cabin for the place. They were 
from two to three inches long; there were hundreds of 
them, and they walked all over us. When we 
attempted to pursue them, they left solid footing, rose 
up in the air, and fluttered about like humming-birds. 
They were much larger than ours on the Snark. But 
ours are young yet, and haven't had a chance to grow. 

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Also, the Snark has centipedes, big ones, six inches 
long. We kill them occasionally, usually in Charmian's 
bunk. I've been bitten twice by them, both times 
foully, while I was asleep. But poor Martin had 
worse luck. After being sick in bed for three weeks, 
the first day he sat up he sat down on one. Some- 
times I think they are the wisest who never go to 

Later on we returned to Malu, picked up seven re- 
cruits, hove up anchor, and started to beat out the 
treacherous entrance. The wind was chopping about, 
the current upon the ugly point of reef setting strong. 
Just as we were on the verge of clearing it and gaining 
open sea, the wind broke off four points. The minota 
attempted to go about, but missed stays. Two of her 
anchors had been lost at Tulagi. Her one remaining 
anchor was let go. Chain was let out to give it a hold 
on the coral. Her fin keel struck bottom, and her 
main topmast lurched and shivered as if about to come 
down upon our heads. She fetched up on the slack 
of the anchor at the moment a big comber smashed 
her shoreward. The chain parted. It was our only 
anchor. The Minota swung around on her heel and 
drove headlong into the breakers. 

Bedlam reigned. All the recruits below, bushmen 
and afraid of the sea, dashed panic-stricken on deck 
and got in everybody's way. At the same time the 
boat's crew made a rush for the rifles. They knew 
what going ashore on Malaita meant — one hand for 
the ship and the other hand to fight off the natives. 
What they held on with I don't know, and they 
needed to hold on as the Minota lifted, rolled, and 
pounded on the coral. The bushmen clung in the 

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rigging, too witless to watch out for the topmast. 
The whale-boat was run out with a tow-line endeavor- 
ing in a puny way to prevent the Minota from being 
flung farther in toward the reef, while Captain Jansen and 
the mate, the latter pallid and weak with fever, were 
resurrecting a scrap-anchor from out the ballast and 
rigging up a stock for it. Mr. Caulfeild, with his 
mission boys, arrived in his whale-boat to help. 

When the Minota first struck, there was not a canoe 
in sight ; but like vultures circling down out of the 
blue, canoes began to arrive from every quarter. The 
boat's crew, with rifles at the ready, kept them lined 
up a hundred feet away with a promise of death if they 
ventured nearer. And there they clung, a hundred 
feet away, black and ominous, crowded with men, 
holding their canoes with their paddles on the perilous 
edge or the breaking surf. In the meantime the bush- 
men were flocking down from the hills, armed with 
spears, Sniders, arrows, and clubs, until the beach was 
massed with them. To complicate matters, at least 
ten of our recruits had been enlisted from the very 
bushmen ashore who were waiting hungrily for the 
loot of the tobacco and trade goods and all that we 
had on board. 

The Minota was honestly built, which is the first 
essential for any boat that is pounding on a reef. 
Some idea of what she endured may be gained from 
the fact that in the first twenty-four hours she parted 
two anchor-chains and eight hawsers. Our boat's crew 
was kept busy diving for the anchors and bending new 
lines. There were times when she parted the chains 
reenforced with hawsers. And yet she held together. 
Tree trunks were brought from ashore and worked 

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under her to save her keel and bilges, but the trunks 
were gnawed and splintered and the ropes that held 
them frayed to fragments, and still she pounded and 
held together. But we were luckier than the Ivanhoe^ 
a big recruiting schooner, which had gone ashore on 
Malaita several months previously and been promptly 

Men of Kewm — Solomons. 

rushed by the natives. The captain and crew suc- 
ceeded in getting away in the whale-boats, and the 
bushmen and salt-water men looted her clean of 
everything portable. 

Squall after squall, driving wind and blinding rain, 
smote the Minota^ while a heavier sea was making. 
The Eugenie lay at anchor five miles to windward, but 
she was behind a point of land and could not know 

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of our mishap. At Captain Jansen's suggestion, I 
wrote a note to Captain Keller, asking him to bring 
extra anchors and gear to our aid. But not a canoe 
could be persuaded to carry the letter. I offered half 
a case of tobacco, but the blacks grinned and held 
their canoes bow-on to the breaking seas. A half, a 
case of tobacco was worth three pounds. In two 
hours, even against the strong wind and sea, a man 
could have carried the letter and received in payment 
what he would have labored half a year for on a planta- 
tion. I managed to get into a canoe and paddle out 
to where Mr. Caulfeild was running an anchor with his 
whale-boat. My idea was that he would have more 
influence over the natives. He called the canoes up to 
him, and a score of them clustered around and heard 
the oflFer of half a case of tobacco. No one spoke. 

" I know what you think," the missionary called 
out to them. "You think plenty tobacco on the 
schooner and you're going to get it. I tell you 
plenty rifles on schooner. You no get tobacco, you 
get bullets." 

At last, one man, alone in a small canoe, took the 
letter and started. Waiting for relief, work went on 
steadily on the Minota. Her water-tanks were emptied, 
and spars, sails, and ballast started shoreward. There 
were lively times on board when the Minota rolled one 
bilge down and then the other, a score of men leaping 
for life and legs as the trade-boxes, booms, and eighty- 
pound pigs or iron ballast rushed across from rail to 
rail and back again. The poor pretty harbor yacht ! 
Her decks and running rigging were a raffle. Down 
below everything was disrupted. The cabin floor had 
been torn up to get at the ballast, and rusty bilge-water 

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swashed and splashed. A bushel of limes, in a mess of 
flour and water, charged abou): like so many sticky 
dumplings escaped from a half-cooked stew. In the 
inner cabin, Nakata kept guard over our rifles and 

Three hours from the time our messenger started, a 
whale-boat, pressing along under ahuge spread of canvas, 
broke through the thick of a shrieking squall to wind- 
ward. It was Captain Keller, wet with rain and spray, 
a revolver in his belt, his boat's crew fully armed, an- 
chors and hawsers heaped high amidships, coming as 
fast as wind could drive — the white man, the inevitable 
white man, coming to a white man's rescue. 

The vulture line of canoes that had waited so long 
broke and disappeared as quickly as it had formed. 
The corpse was not dead after all. We now had three 
whale-boats, two plying steadily between the vessel and 
shore, the other kept busy running out anchors, rebend- 
ing parted hawsers, and recovering the lost anchors. 
Later in the afternoon, after a consultation, in which 
we took into consideration that a number of our boat's 
crew, as well as ten of the recruits, belonged to this 
place, we disarmed the boat's crew. This, incidently, 
gave them both hands free to work for the vessel. 
The rifles were put in the charge of five of Mr. Caul- 
feild's mission boys. And down below in the wreck 
of the cabin the missionary and his converts prayed to 
God to save the Minota. It was an impressive scene : 
the unarmed man of God praying with cloudless faith, 
his savage followers leaning on their rifles and mum- 
bling amens. The cabin walls reeled about them. The 
vessel lifted and smashed upon the coral with every sea. 
From on deck came the shouts of men heaving and 

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toiling, praying, in another fashion, with purposeful 
will and strength of arm. 

That night Mr. Caulfeild brought off a warning. 
One of our recruits had a price on his head of fifty 
fathoms of shell-money and forty pigs. Baffled in 
their desire to capture the vessel, the bushmen decided 

Salt-water Women on their Way to Market, Malu, Malaita. 

to get the head of the man. When killing begins, there 
is no telling where it will end, so Captain Jansen armed 
a whale-boat and rowed in to the edge of the beach. 
Ugi, one of his boat's crew, stood up and orated for 
him. Ugi was excited. Captain Jansen's warning 
that any canoe sighted that night would be pumped 
full of lead, Ugi turned into a bellicose declaration of 
war, which wound up with a peroration somewhat to the 
following effect : " You kill my captain, I drink his 
blood and die with him ! " 

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The bushmen contented themselves with burning an 
unoccupied mission house, and sneaked back to the 
bush. The next day the Eugenie sailed in and dropped 
anchor. Three days and two nights the Minota 
pounded on the reef; but she held together, and the 
shell of her was pulled off at last and anchored in 
smooth water. There we said good-by to her and all 
on board, and sailed away on the Eugeniey bound for 
Florida Island.^ 

^ To point out that we of the Snark are not a crowd of weaklings, 
which might be concluded from our divers afflictions, I quote the 
following, which I gleaned verbatim from the Eugenie* s log and which 
may be considered as a sample of Solomon Islands cruising : 

Ulava, Thursday, March 12, 1908. 

Boat went ashore in the morning. Got two loads ivory nut, 
4000 copra. Skipper down with fever. 
Ulava, Friday, March 13, 1908. 

Buying nuts from bushmen, 1^ ton. Mate and skipper down with 
Ulava, Saturday, March 14, 1908. 

At noon hove up and proceeded with a very light E.N.E. wind for 
Ngora-Ngora. Anchored in 8 fathoms — shell and coral. Mate 
down with fever. 
Ngora-Ngora, Sunday, March 15, 1908. 

At daybreak found that the boy Bagua had died during the night, on 
dysentery. He was about 14 days sick. At sunset, big N.W. 
squall. (Second anchor ready) Lasting one hour and 30 minutes. 
At sea, Monday, March 16, 1908. 

Set course for Sikiana at 4 p.m. Wind broke off. Heavy squalls 
during the night. Skipper down on dysentery, also one man. 
At sea, Tuesday, March 17, 1908. 

Skipper and 2 crew down on dysentery. Mate fever. 
At sea, Wednesday, March 18, 1908. 

Big sea. Lee-rail under water all the time. Ship under reefed 
mainsail, staysail, and inner jib. Skipper and 3 men dysentery. 
Mate fever. 

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At sea, Thursday, March 14, 1908. 

Too thick to see anything. Blowing a living a gale all the time. 
Pump plugged up and bailing with buckets. Skipper and five 
boys down on dysentery. 
At sea, Friday, March 20, 1908. 

During night squalls with hurricane force. Skipper and six men 
down on dysentery. 
At sea, Saturday, March 21, 1908. 

Turned back from Sikiana. Squalls all day with heavy rain and 
sea. Skipper and best part of crew on dysentery. Matf fever. 

And so, day by day, with the majority of all on board prostrated, 
the Eugenie* s log goes on. The only variety occurred on March 3 1 , 
when the mate came down with dysentery and the skipper was floored 
by fever. 

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Beche de Mer English 

Given a number of white traders, a wide area of 
land, and scores of savage languages and dialects, 
the result will be that the traders will manufacture a 
totally new, unscientific, but perfectly adequate, lan- 
guage. This the traders did when they invented the 
Chinook lingo for use over British Columbia, Alaska, 
and the Northwest Territory. So with the lingo of 
the Kroo-boys of Africa, the pigeon English of the 
Far East, and the beche de mer of the westerly por- 
tion of the South Seas. This latter is often called 
pigeon English, but pigeon English it certainly is not. 
To show how totally diflFerent it is, mention need be 
made only of the fact that the classic piecee of China 
has no place in it. 

There was once a sea captain who needed a dusky 
potentate down in his cabin. The potentate was on 
deck. The captain's command to the Chinese steward 
was : " Hey, boy, you go top-side catchee one piecee 
king." Had the steward been a New Hebridean or 
a Solomon islander, the command would have been : 
" Hey, you fella boy, go look 'm eye belong you along 
deck, bring 'm me fella one big fella marster belong 
black man." 

It was the first white men who ventured through 
Melanesia after the early explorers, who developed 
beche de mer English — men such as the beche de 
mer fishermen, the sandalwood traders, the pearl 


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A Malaita Man. 

hunters, and the labor recruiters. In the Solomons, 
for instance, scores of languages and dialects are spoken. 
Unhappy the trader who tried to learn them all ; for 

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in the next group to which he might wander he would 
find scores of additional tongues. A common lan- 
guage was necessary — a language so simple that a 
child could learn it, with a vocabulary as limited as the 
intelligence of the savages upon whom it was to be used. 
The traders did not 
reason this out. Beche 
de mer English was the 
product of conditions 
and circumstances. 
Function precedes or- 
gan; and the need for 
a universal Melanesian 
lingo preceded beche de 
mer English. Beche 
de mer was purely for- 
tuitous, but it was for- 
tuitous in the deter- 
ministic way. Also, 
from the fact that out 
of the nefed the lingo 
arose, beche de mer 
English is a splendid 
argument for the Es- 
peranto enthusiasts. 

A limited vocabulary means that each word shall be 
overworked. Thus, fella^ in beche de mer, means all 
that piecee does and quite a bit more, and is used con- 
tinually in every possible connection. Another over- 
worked word is belong. Nothing stands alone. Every- 
thing is related. The thing desired is indicated by its 
relationship with other things. A primitive vocabu- 
lary means primitive expression, thus, the continuance 

A Malaita " Mary/ 

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of rain is expressed as rain he stop. Sun he come up 
cannot possibly be misunderstood, while the phrase- 
structure itself can be used without mental exertion in 
ten thousand different ways, as, for instance, a native who 
desires to tell you that there are fish in the water and 

who says fish he stop. 
It was while trading 
on Ysabel island that 
I learned the excellence 
of this usage. I wanted 
two or three pairs of 
the large clam-shells 
(measunng three feet 
across), but I did not 
want the meat inside. 
Also, I wanted the 
meat of some of the 
smaller clams to make 
a chowder. My in- 
struction to the natives 
finally ripened into the 
following: "You fella 
bring me fella big fella 
clam — kai'kai he no 
stop, he walk about. 
You fella bring me fella small fella clam — kai-kai he 

Kai'kai is the Polynesian for food ^ meaty eatings and 
to eat; but it would be hard to say whether it was in- 
troduced into Melanesia by the sandalwood traders or 
by the Polynesian westward drift, ^alk about is a 
quaint phrase. Thus, if one orders a Solomon sailor 
to put a tackle on a boom, he will suggest, " That fella 

Vella Lavella Man. 

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boom he walk about too much." And if the said 
sailor asks for shore liberty, he will state that it is his 
desire to walk about. Or if said sailor be seasick, he 
will explain his condition by stating, " Belly belong me 
walk about too much." 

Too muchy by the way, does not indicate anything 
excessive. It is merely the simple superlative. Thus, 
if a native is asked the distance to a certain village, his 
answer will be one 
of these four: "Close 
up " ; " long way little 
bit " ; " long way big 
bit " ; or " long way too 
much." Long way too 
much does not mean 
that one cannot walk 
to the village; it means 
that he will have to 
walk farther than if 
the village were a long 
way big bit. 

Gammon is to lie, 
to exaggerate, to joke. 
Mary is a woman. 
Any woman is a Mary. 
All women are Marys. 
Doubtlessly the first 
dim white adventurer 
whimsically called a native woman Mary, and of similar 
birth must have been many other words in beche de 
mer. The white men were all seamen, and so capsize 
and sing out were introduced into the lingo. One 
would not tell a Melanesian cook to empty the dish- 

From Fin Bori — Malaita. 

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water, but he would tell him to capsize it. To sing 
out is to cry loudly, to call out, or merely to speak. 
Sing-sing is a song. The native Christian does not 

think of God calling for Adam 
in the Garden of Eden; in the 
native's mind, God sings out 
for Adam. 

Savvee or catchee are practi- 
cally the only words which have 
been introduced straight from 
pigeon English. OF course, 
pickaninny has happened along, 
but some of its uses are deli- 
cious. Having bought 
a fowl from a native in 
a canoe, the native 
asked me if I wanted 
*^ Pickaninny stop 
along him fella." It 
was not until he showed 
me a handful of hen's 
eggs that I understood 
his meaning. My wordy 
as an exclamation with 
a thousand signifi- 
cances, could have ar- 
^ ,. , rived from nowhere 

A Beau of Malaita. , , i i -r> i j 

else than old England. 
A paddle, a sweep, or an oar, is called washee, and 
washee is also the verb. 

Here is a letter, dictated by one Peter, a native 
trader at Santa Anna, and addressed to his employer. 
Harry, the schooner captain, started to write the letter, 

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but was stopped by Peter at the end of the second 
sentence. Thereafter the letter runs in Peter's own 
words, for Peter was afraid that Harry gammoned too 
much, and he wanted the straight story of his needs to 
go to headquarters. 

*' Santa Anna 
** Trader Peter has worked 12 months for your firm and has not 
received any pay yet. He hereby wants ^12." (At this point 
Peter began dictation). ** Harry he gammon along him all the 
time too much. I like him 6 tin biscuit, 4 bag rice, 24 tin bullama- 
cow. Me like him 2 rifle, me savvee look out along boat, some place 
me go man he no good, he kai-kai along me. 

'« Peter." 

Bullamacow means tinned beef. This word was 
corrupted from the English language by the Samoans, 
and from them learned by the traders, who carried 
it along with them into Melanesia. Captain Cook 
and the other early navigators made a practice of in- 
troducing seeds, plants, and domestic animals amongst 
the natives. It was at Samoa that one such navigator 
landed a bull and a cow. " This is a bull and cow," 
said he to the Samoans. They thought he was giving 
the name of the breed, and from that day to this, beef 
on the hoof and beef in the tin is called bullamacow. 

A Solomon islander cannot say fenccy so, in beche 
de mer, it becomes fennis ; store is sittore^ and box is 
bokkis. Just now the fashion in chests, which are 
known as boxes, is to have a bell arrangement on the 
lock so that the box cannot be opened without sound- 
ing an alarm. A box so equipped is not spoken of as 
a mere box, but as the bokkis belong bell. 

Jright is the beche de mer for fear. If a native 
appears timid and one asks him the cause, he is liable 

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to hear in reply : " Me fright along you too much." 
Or the native may be fright along storm, or wild bush, 

or haunted places. 
Cross covers every 
form of anger. A 
man may be cross 
at one when he is 
feeling only petu- 
lant ; or he may be 
cross when he is 
seeking to chop 
off your head and 
make a stew out 
of you. A recruit, 
after haying toiled 
three years on a 
plantation, was re- 
turned to his own 
village on Malaita. 
He was clad in all 
kinds of gay and 
sportive garments. 
On his head was 
a top-hat. He possessed a trade-box full of calico, 
beads, porpoise-teeth, and tobacco. Hardly was the 
anchor down, when the villagers were on board. The 
recruit looked anxiously for his own relatives, but 
none was to be seen. One of the natives took the 
pipe out of his mouth. Another confiscated the strings 
of beads from around his neck. A third relieved him 
of his gaudy loin-cloth, and a fourth tried on the top- 
hat and omitted to return it. Finally, one of them 
took his trade-box, which represented three years' toil, 

He knew the Sandalwood Traders and the 
Beche de Mer Fishermen. 

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b£:che de mer English 303 

and dropped it into a canoe alongside. " That fella 
belong you ? " the captain asked the recruit, referring 
to the thief. " No belong me," was the answer. 
" Then why in Jericho do you let him take the box ? " 
the captain demanded indignantly. Quoth the recruit, 
" Me speak along him, say bokkis he stop, that fella 
he cross along me " — which was the recruit's way of 
saying that the other man would murder him. God's 
wrath, when he sent the Flood, was merely a case of 
being cross along mankind. 

What name is the great interrogation of beche de 
mer. It all de- 
pends on how it 
is uttered. It 
may mean : What 
is your business ? 
What do you mean 
by this outrageous 
conduct ? What 
do you want? 
What is the thing 
you are after ? You 
had best watch out; 
I demand an ex- 
planation ; and a 
few hundred other 
things. Call a na- 
tive out of his 
house in the mid- 
dle of the night, 
and he is likely to 

He might have been Gladstone. 

demand, " What name you sing out along me ? " 
Imagine the predicament of the Germans on the 

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plantations of Bougainville island, who are compelled 
to learn beche de mer English in order to handle the 
native laborers. It is to them an unscientific polyglot, 
and there are no text-books by which to study it. 
It is a source of unholy delight to the other white 

planters and traders to 
hear the German wrest- 
ling stolidly with the 
circumlocutions and 
short-cuts of a language 
that has no grammar 
and no dictionary. 

Some years ago large 
numbers of Solomon 
islanders were recruited 
to labor on the sugar 
plantations of Queens- 
land. A missionary 
urged one of the labor- 
ers, who was a convert, 
to get up and preach a 
sermon to a shipload of 
Solomon islanders who 
had just arrived. He 
chose for his subject the 
Fall of Man, and the address he gave became a classic 
in all Australasia. It proceeded somewhat in the 
following manner : 

"Altogether you boy belong Solomons you no 
savvee white man. Me fella me sawee him. Me 
fella me savvee talk along white man. 

" Before long time altogether no place he stop. God 
big fella marster belong white man, him fella He make 'm 

Old Woman of Vella Lavella. 

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b£:che de mer English 305 

altogether. God big fella marster belong white man. 
He make'm big fella garden. He good fella too much. 
Along garden plenty yam he stop, plenty cocoanut, 
plenty taro, plenty kumara (sweet potatoes), altogether 
good fella kai-kai too much. 

" Bimeby God big fella marster belong white man 
He make 'm one fella man and put 'm along garden be- 
long Him. He call 'm this fella man Adam. He 
name belong him. He put him this fella man Adam 
along garden, and He speak, * This fella garden he be- 
long you.' And He look 'm this fella Adam he walk 
about too much. Him fella Adam all the same sick; 
he no savvee kai-kai ; he walk about all the time. 
And God He no sawee. God big fella marster belong 
white man. He scratch 'm head belong Him. God 
say : * What name ? Me no savvee wnat name this 
fella Adam he want.' , 

" Bimeby God He scratch 'm head belong Him too 
much, and speak: * Me fella me savvee, him fella 
Adam him want 'm Mary.' So He make Adam he 

fo asleep. He take one fella bone belong him, and 
le make 'm one fella Mary along bone. He call him 
this fella Mary, Eve. He give 'm this fella Eve along 
Adam, and He speak along him fella Adam : * Close 
up altogether along this fella garden belong you two 
fella. One fella tree he tambo (taboo) along you al- 
together. This fella tree belong apple.' 

" So Adam Eve two fella stop along garden, and 
they two fella have 'm good time too much. Bimeby, 
one day, Eve she come along Adam, and she speak, 

* More good you me two fella we eat 'm this fella 
apple.' Adam he speak, * No,' and Eve she speak^ 

* What name you no like 'm me ? ' And Adam he speak^ 

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* Me like 'm you too much, but me fright along God.' 
And Eve she speak, ^ Gammon ! What name ? God 
He no savvee look along us two fella all 'm time. God 
big fella marster. He gammon along you.' But Adam 
he speak, * No.' But Eve she talk, talk, talk, allee 
time — allee same Mary she talk along boy along 


Queensland and make 'm trouble along boy. And 
bimeby Adam he tired too much, and he speak, * All 
right.' So these two fella they go eat 'm. When they 
finish eat 'm, my word, they fright like hell, and they 
go hide along scrub. 

" And God he come walk about along garden, and 
He sing out, * Adam ! ' Adam he no speak. He too 
much fright. My word ! And God He sing out, 
^ Adam ! ' And Adam he speak, ^ You call 'm me ? * 

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God He speak, ^ Me call 'm you too much/ Adam 
he speak, * Me sleep strong fella too much.' And 
God He speak, ^ You been eat 'm this fella apple.' 
Adam he speak, * No, me no been eat 'm.' God He 
speak. * What name you gammon along me ? You 
been eat 'm.' And Adam he speak, * Yes, me been 
eat 'm.* 

" And God big fella marster he cross along Adam 
Eve two fella too much, and he speak, ^ You two' fella 
finish along me altogether. You go catch 'm bokkis 
(box) belong you, and get to hell along scrub.' 

" So Adam Eve these two fella go along scrub. And 
God He make 'm one big fennis (fence) all around 
garden and He put 'm one fella marster belong God 
along fennis. And He give this fella marster belong 
God one big fella musket, and He speak, ^ S'pose you 
look 'm these two fella Adam Eve, you shoot 'm plenty 
too much.' " 

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The Amateur M.D. 

When we sailed from San Francisco on the Snark 
I knew as much about sickness as the Admiral of the 
Swiss Navy knows about salt water. And here, at the 
start, let me advise any one who meditates going to 
out-of-the-way tropic places. Go to a first-class drug- 
gist — the sort that have specialists on their salary list 
who know everything. Talk the matter over with 
such an one. Note carefully all that he says. Have 
a list made of all that he recommends. Write out a 
check for the total cost, and tear it up. 

I wish I had done the same. I should have been 
far wiser, I know now, if I had bought one of those 
ready-made, self-acting, fool-proof medicine chests such 
as are favored by fourth-rate ship-masters. In such a 
chest each bottle has a number. On the inside of the 
lid is placed a simple table of directions : No. i, tooth- 
ache; No. 2, smallpox; No. 3, stomachache; No. 4, 
cholera ; No. 5, rheumatism ; and so on, through the 
list of human ills. And I might have used it as did 
a certain venerable skipper, who, when No. 3 was 
empty, mixed a dose from No. i and No. 2, or, 
when No. 7 was all gone, dosed his crew with 4 
and 3 till 3 gave out, when he used 5 and 2. 

So far, with the exception of corrosive sublimate 
(which was recommended as an antiseptic in surgical 
operations, and which I have not yet used for that 
purpose), my medicine-chest has been useless. It has 


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been worse than useless, for it has occupied much space 
which I could have used to advantage. 

With my surgical instruments it is different. While 
I have not yet had serious use for them, I do not regret 
the space they occupy. The thought of them makes 
me feel good. They are so much life insurance, only, 
fairer than that last grim game, one is not supposed to 
die in order to win. Of course, I don't know how to 
use them, and what I don't know about surgery would 
set up a dozen quacks in prosperous practice. But 
needs must when the devil drives, and we of the Snark 
have no warning when the devil may take it into his 
head to drive, ay, even a thousand miles from land and 
twenty days from the nearest port. 

I did not know anything about dentistry, but a 
friend fitted me out with forceps and similar weapons, 
and in Honolulu I picked up a book upon teeth. Also, 
in that sub-tropical city I managed to get hold of a 
skull, from which I extracted the teeth swiftly and pain- 
lessly. Thus equipped, I was ready, though not ex- 
actly eager, to tackle any tooth that got in my way. 
It was in Nuku-hiva, in the Marquesas, that my first 
case presented itself in the shape or a little, old Chinese. 
The first thing I did was to get the buck fever, and I 
leave it to any fair-minded person if buck fever, with 
its attendant heart-palpitations and arm-tremblings, is 
the right condition for a man to be in who is endeavor- 
ing to pose as an old hand at the business. I did not 
fool the aged Chinaman. He was as frightened as I 
and a bit more shaky. I almost forgot to be frightened 
in the fear that he would bolt. I swear, if he had tried 
to, that I would have tripped him up and sat on him 
until calmness and reason returned. 

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I wanted that tooth. Also, Martin wanted a snap- 
shot of me getting it. Likewise Charmian got her 
camera. Then the procession started. We were stop- 
ping at what had been the club-house when Stevenson 
was in the Marquesas on the Casco. On the veranda, 
where he had passed so many pleasant hours, the light 
was not good — for snapshots, I mean. I led on into 
the garden, a chair in one hand, the other hand filled 
with forceps of various sorts, my knees knocking to- 
gether disgracefully. The poor old Chinaman came 
second, and he was shaking, too. Charmian and 
Martin brought up the rear, armed with kodaks. We 
dived under the avocado trees, threaded our way 
through the cocoanut palms, and came on a spot that 
satisfied Martin's photographic eye. 

I looked at the tooth, and then discovered that I 
could not remember anything about the teeth I had 
pulled from the skull five months previously. Did it 
have one prong? two prongs? or three prongs? What 
was left or the part that showed appeared very crumbly, 
and I knew that I should have to take hold of the 
tooth deep down in the gum. It was very necessary 
that I should know how many prongs that tooth had. 
Back to the house I went for the book on teeth. The 
poor old victim looked like photographs I had seen of 
fellow countrymen of his, criminals, on their knees, 
waiting the stroke of the beheading sword. 

" Don't let him get away," I cautioned to Martin. 
" I want that tooth." 

" I sure won't," he replied with enthusiasm, from 
behind his camera. " I want that photograph." 

For the first time I felt sorry for the Chinaman. 
Though the book did not tell me anything about pull- 

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ing teeth, it was all right, for on one page I found draw- 
ings of all the teeth, including their prongs and how 
they were set in the jaw. Then came the pursuit of 
the forceps. I had seven pairs, but was in doubt as to 
which pair I should use. I did not want any mistake. 
As I turned the hardware over with rattle and clang. 

Pulling my First Tooth. 

the poor victim began to lose his grip and to turn a 
greenish yellow around the gills. He complained 
about the sun, but that was necessary for the photo- 
graph, and he had to stand it. I fitted the forceps 
around the tooth, and the patient shivered and began 
to wilt. 

" Ready ? " I called to Martin. 

" All ready," he answered. 

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I gave a pull. Ye gods ! The tooth was loose ! 
Out it came on the instant. I was jubilant as I held 
it aloft in the forceps. 

" Put it back, please, oh, put it back," Martin 
pleaded. " You were too quick for me." 

And the poor old Chinaman sat there while I put 
the tooth back and pulled over. Martin snapped the 
camera. The deed was done. Elation ? Pride ? No 
hunter was ever prouder of his first pronged buck than 
I was of that three-pronged tooth. I did it ! I did 
it ! With my own hands and a pair of forceps I did 
it, to say nothing of the forgotten memories of the dead 
man's skull. 

My next case was a Tahitian sailor. He was a small 
man, in a state of collapse from long days and nights 
of jumping toothache. I lanced the gums first. I 
didn't know how to lance them, but I lanced them just 
the same. It was a long pull and a strong pull. The 
man was a hero. He groaned and moaned, and I 
thought he was going to faint. But he kept his mouth 
open and let me pull. And then it came. 

After that I was ready to meet all comers — just the 
proper state of mind for a Waterloo. And it came. 
Its name was Tomi. He was a strapping giant of a 
heathen with a bad reputation. He was addicted to 
deeds of violence. Among other things he had beaten 
two of his wives to death with his fists. His father 
and mother had been naked cannibals. When he sat 
down and I put the forceps into his mouth, he was 
nearly as tall as I was standing up. Big men, prone 
to violence, very often have a streak of fat in their 
make-up, so I was doubtful of him. Charmian grabbed 
one arm and Warren grabbed the other. Then the 

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tug of war began. The instant the forceps closed down 
on the tooth, his jaws closed down on the forceps. 
Also, both his hands flew up and gripped my pulling 
hand. I held on, and he held on. Charmian and 
Warren held on. We wrestled all about the shop. 

It was three against one, and my hold on an aching 
tooth was certainly a foul one ; but in spite of the 

Careening the Snark. 

handicap he got away with us. The forceps slipped 
ofi^, banging and grinding along against his upper teeth 
with a nerve-scraping sound. Out of his mouth flew 
the forceps, and he rose up in the air with a blood- 
curdling yell. The three of us fell back. We expected 
to be massacred. But that howling savage of sangui- 
nary reputation sank back in the chair. He held his 
head in both his hands, and groaned and groaned and 

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groaned. Nor would he listen to reason. I was a 
quack. My painless tooth-extraction was a delusion 
and a snare and a low advertising dodge. I was so anx- 
ious to get that tooth that I was almost ready to bribe 
him. But that went against my professional pride and 
I let him depart with the tooth still intact, the only 
case on record up to date of failure on my part when 
once I had got a grip. Since then I have never let a 
tooth go by me. Only the other day I volunteered 
to beat up three days to windward to pull a woman 
missionary's tooth. I expect, before the voyage of 
the Snark is finished, to be doing bridge work and 
putting on gold crowns. 

I don't know whether they are yaws or not — a 
physician in Fiji told me they were, and a missionary 
in the Solomons told me they were not ; but at any 
rate I can vouch for the fact that they are most uncom- 
fortable. It was my luck to ship in Tahiti a French 
sailor, who, when we got to sea, proved to be afflicted 
with a vile skin disease. The Snark was too small and 
too much of a family party to permit retaining him on 
board; but perforce, until we could reach land and 
discharge him, it was up to me to doctor him. I read 
up the books and proceeded to treat him, taking care 
afterwards always to use a thorough antiseptic wash. 
When we reached Tutuila, far from getting rid of him, 
the port doctor declared a quarantine against him and 
refused to allow him ashore. But at Apia, Samoa, I 
managed to ship him off on a steamer to New Zealand. 
Here at Apia my ankles were badly bitten by mos- 
quitoes, and I confess to having scratched the bites — 
as I had a thousand times before. By the time I 
reached the island of Savaii, a sniall sore had developed 

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on the hollow of my instep. I thought it was due to 
chafe and to acid fumes from the hot lava over which 
I tramped. An application of salve would cure it — 
so I thought. The salve did heal it over, whereupon 
an astonishing inflammation set in, the new skin came 
off, and a larger sore was exposed. This was repeated 
many times. Each time new skin formed, an inflam- 
mation followed, and the circumference of the sore in- 
creased. I was puzzled and frightened. AH my life 
my skin had been famous fpr its healing powers, yet 
here was something that would not heal. Instead, it 
was daily eating up more skin, while it had eaten down 
clear through the skin and was eating up the muscle 

By this time the Snark was at sea on her way to 
Fiji. I remembered the French sailor, and for the 
first time became seriously alarmed. Four other simi- 
lar sores had appeared — or ulcers, rather, and the pain 
of them kept me awake at night. All my plans were 
made to lay up the Snark in Fiji and get away on the 
first steamer to Australia and professional M.D.'s. 
In the meantime, in my amateur M.D. way, I did my 
best. I read through all the medical works on board. 
Not a line nor a word could I find descriptive of my 
affliction. I brought common horse-sense to bear on 
the problem. Here were malignant and excessively 
active ulcers that were eating me up. There was an 
organic and corroding poison at work. Two things I 
concluded must be done. First, some agent must be 
found to destroy the poison. Secondly, the ulcers 
could not possibly heal from the outside in ; they must 
heal from the inside out. I decided to fight the poison 
with corrosive sublimate. The very name of it struck 

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me as vicious. Talk of fighting fire with fire! I was 
being consumed by a corrosive poison, and it appealed 
to my fancy to fight it with another corrosive poison. 
After several days I alternated dressings of corrosive 
sublimate with dressings of peroxide of hydrogen. 
And behold, by the time we reached Fiji four or the 
five ulcers were healed, while the remaining one was 
no bigger than a pea. 

I now felt fully qualified to treat yaws. Likewise I 
had a wholesome respect for them. Not so the rest 
of the crew of the Snark. In their case, seeing was 
not believing. One and all, they had seen my dread- 
ful predicament; and all of them, I am convinced, had 
a subconscious certitude that their own superb constitu- 
tions and glorious personalities would never allow lodg- 
ment of so vile a poison in their carcasses as my 
anaemic constitution and mediocre personality had al- 
lowed to lodge in mine. At Port Resolution, in the 
New Hebrides, Martin elected to walk barefooted in 
the bush and returned on board with many cuts and 
abrasions, especially on his shins. 

"You'd better be careful," I warned fcim. "I'll 
mix up some corrosive sublimate for you to wash those 
cuts with. An ounce of prevention, you know." 

But Martin smiled a superior smile. Though he 
did not say so, I nevertheless was given to understand 
that he was not as other men (I was the only man he 
could possibly have had reference to), and that in a couple 
of days his cuts would he healed. He also read me a 
dissertation upon the peculiar purity of his blood and his 
remarkable healing powers. I felt quite humble when 
he was done with me. Evidently I was diflferent from 
other men in so far as purity of blood was concerned. 

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Nakata, the cabin-boy, while ironing one day, mis- 
took the calf of his leg for the ironing-block and 
accumulated a burn three inches in length and half an 
inch wide. He, too, smiled the superior smile when I 
offered him corrosive sublimate and reminded him of 
my own cruel experience. I was given to understand, 
with all due suavity and courtesy, that no matter 

Visitors coming alongside, Meringe Lagoon, Ysabel, Solomon Islands. 

what was the matter with my blood, his number-one, 
Japanese, Port-Arthur blood was all right and scorn- 
ful of the festive microbe. 

Wada, the cook, took part in a disastrous landing 
of the launch, when he had to leap overboard and 
fend the launch off the beach in a smashing surf. 
By means of shells and coral he cut his legs and feet 
up beautifully. I offered him the corrosive sublimate 
bottle. Once again I suffered the superior smile and 

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was given to understand that his blood was the same 
blood that had licked Russia and was going to lick the 
United States some day, and that if his blood wasn't 
able to cure a few trifling cuts, he'd commit hari-kari 
in sheer disgrace. 

From all of which I concluded that an amateur 
M.D. is without honor on his own vessel, even if he has 
cured himself. The rest of the crew had begun to 
look upon me as a sc^t of mild monomaniac on the 
question of sores and sublimate. Just because my 
blood was impure was no reason that I should think 
everybody else's was. I made no more overtures. 
Time and microbes were with me, and all I had to do 
was wait. 

" I think there's some dirt in those cuts," Martin 
said tentatively, after several days. " I'll wash them 
out and then they'll be all right," he added, after I had 
refused to rise to the bait. 

Two more days passed, but the cuts did not pass, 
and I caught Martin soaking his feet and legs in a pail 
of hot water. 

"Nothing like hot water, he proclaimed enthusiasti- 
cally. " It beats all the dope the doctors ever put up. 
These sores will be all right in the morning." 

But in the morning he wore a troubled look, and I 
knew that the hour of my triumph approached. 

" I think I will try some of that medicine," he an- 
nounced later on in the day. " Not that I think it'll 
do much good," he qualified, " but I'll just give it a 
try anyway." 

Next came the proud blood of Japan to beg medi- 
cine for its illustrious sores, while I heaped coals of 
fire on all their house's by explaining in minute and 

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sympathetic detail the treatment that should be given. 
Nakata followed instructions implicitly, and day by 
day his sores grew smaller. Wada was apathetic, and 
cured less readily. But Martin still doubted, and be- 
cause he did not cure immediately, he developed the 
theory that while doctor's dope was all right, it did not 
follow that the same kind of dope was efficacious with 
everybody. As for himself, corrosive sublimate had 
no effect. Besides, how did I know that it was the 
right stuff? I had had no experience. Just because 
I happened to get well while using it was not proof 
that it had played any part in the cure. There were 
such things as coincidences. Without doubt there was 
a dope that would cure the sores, and when he ran 
across a real doctor he would find what that dope was 
and get some of it. 

About this time we arrived in the Solomon Islands. 
No physician would ever recommend the group for 
invalids or sanitariums. I spent but little time there 
ere I really and for the first time in my life compre- 
hended how frail and unstable is human tissue. Our 
first anchorage was Port Mary, on the island of Santa 
Anna. The one lone white man, a trader, came along- 
side. Tom Butler was his name, and he was a beautiful 
example of what the Solomons can do to a strong man. 
He lay in his whale-boat with the helplessness of a 
dying man. No smile and little intelligence illumined 
his face. He was a sombre death's-head, too far gone 
to grin. He, too, had yaws, big ones. We were 
compelled to drag him over the rail of the Snark. 
He said that his health was good, that he had not had 
the fever for some time, and that with the exception 
of his arm he was all right and trim. His arm ap- 

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. 1 





^^B^ i"' . fllL^ 


^^^H. ,c. _ ^HMv 




4^^^VVvv ^^^^^^^M 









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peared to be paralyzed. Paralysis he rejected with 
scorn. He had had it before, and recovered. It was 
a common native disease on Santa Anna, he said, as he 
was helped down the companion ladder, his dead arm 
dropping, bump-bump, from step to step. He was 
certamly the ghastliest guest we ever entertained, and 
we've had not a few lepers and elephantiasis victims on 

Martin inquired about yaws, for here was a man 
who ought to know. He certainly did know, if we 
could judge by his scarred arms and legs and by the 
live ulcers that corroded in the midst of the scars. 
Oh, one got used to yaws, quoth Tom Butler. They 
were never really serious until they had eaten deep into 
the flesh. Then they attacked the walls of the arteries, 
the arteries burst, and there was a funeral. Several of 
the natives had recently died that way ashore. But 
what did it matter ? If it wasn't yaws, it was some- 
thing else — in the Solomons. 

I noticed that from this moment Martin displayed a 
swiftly increasing interest in his own yaws. Dosings 
with corrosive sublimate were more frequent, while, in 
conversation, he began to revert with growing en- 
thusiasm to the clean climate of Kansas and all other 
things Kansan. Charmian and I thought that Cali- 
fornia was a little bit of all right. Henry swore by 
Rapa, and Tehei staked all on Bora Bora for his oW^n 
blood's sake ; while Wada and Nakata sang the sani- 
tary psean of Japan. 

One evening, as the Snark worked around the 
southern end of the island of Ugi, looking for a re- 
puted anchorage, a Church of England missionary, a 
Mr. Drew, bound in his whale-boat for the coast of 

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San Cristoval, came alongside and stopped for dinner. 
Martin, his legs swathed in Red Cross bandages till 
they looked like a mummy's, turned the conversation 
upon yaws. Yes, said Mr. Drew, they were quite com- 
mon in the Solomons. All white men caught them. 

" And have you had them? " Martin demanded, in the 
soul of him quite shocked that a Church of England 
missionary could possess so vulgar an affliction. 

Mr. Drew nodded his head and added that not only- 
had he had them, but at that moment he was doctor- 
ing several. 

" What do you use on them ? " Martin asked like 
a flash. 

My heart almost stood still waiting the answer. By 
that answer my professional medical prestige stood or 
fell. Martin, I could see, was quite sure it was going 
to fall. And then the answer — O blessed answer! 

" Corrosive sublimate," said Mr. Drew. 

Martin gave in handsomely, I'll adn^it, and I am 
confident that at that moment, if I had asked per- 
mission to pull one of his teeth, he would not have 
denied me. 

All white men in the Solomons catch yaws, and 
every cut or abrasion practically means another yaw. 
Every man I met had had them, and nine out of ten 
had active ones. There was but one exception, a 
young fellow who had been in the islands five months, 
who had come down with fever ten days after he ar- 
rived, and who had since then been down so often 
with fever that he had had neither time nor opportun- 
ity for yaws. 

Every one on the Snark except Charmian came down 
with yaws. Hers was the same egotism that Japan 

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and Kansas had displayed. She ascribed her immunity 
to the pureness of her blood, and as the days went by 
she ascribed it more often and more loudly to the pure- 
ness of her blood. Privately I ascribed her immunity 
to the fact that, being a woman, she escaped most of the 
cuts and abrasions to which we hard-working men were 
subject in the course of working the Snark around the 
world. I did not tell her so. You see, I did not 
wish to bruise her ego with brutal facts. Being an 
M.D., if only an amateur one, I knew more about the 
disease than she, and I knew that time was my ally. 
But alas, I abused my ally when it dealt a charming 
little yaw on the shin. So quickly did I apply anti- 
septic treatment, that the yaw was cured before she was 
convinced that she had one. Again, as an M.D., I was 
without honor on my own vessel ; and, worse than 
that, I was charged with having tried to mislead her 
into the belief that she had had a yaw. The pureness 
of her blood was more rampant than ever, and I poked 
my nose into my navigation books and kept quiet. 
And then came the day. We were cruising along the 
coast of Malaita at the time. 

" What's that abaft your ankle-bone ? " said I. 

" Nothing," said she. 

"All right," said I; "but put some corrosive 
sublimate on it just the same. And some two or 
three weeks from now, when it is well and you have a 
scar that you will carry to your grave, just forget 
about the purity of your blood and your ancestral 
history and tell me what you think about yaws any- 

It was as large as a silver dollar, that yaw, and it took 
all of three weeks to heal. There were times when 

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Charmian could not walk because of the hurt of it; 
and there were times upon times when she explained 
that abaft the ankle-bone was the most painful place to 
have a yaw. I explained, in turn, that, never having 
experienced a yaw in that locality, I was driven to con- 

The Snark's Complement in the Solomons after we lost the Cook and 
gained a Cerman Mate who didn't last. 

elude the hollow of the instep was the most painful place 
for yaw-culture. We left it to Martin, who disagreed 
with both of us and proclaimed passionately that the 
only truly painful place was the shin. No wonder 
horse-racing is so popular. 

But yaws lose their novelty after a time. At the 
present moment of writing I have five yaws on my 

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hands and three more on my shin. Charmian has one 
on each side of her right instep. Tehei is frantic with 
his. Martin's latest shin-cultures have eclipsed his 
earlier ones. And Nakata has several score casually 
eating away at his tissue. But the history of the 
Snark in the Solomons has been the history of every 
ship since the early discoverers. From the " Sailing 
Directions " I quote the following: 

** The crews of vessels remaining any considerable time in the 
Solomons find wounds and sores liable to change into malignant 

Nor on the question of fever were the "Sailing Direc- 
tions *' any more encouraging, for in them I read : 

''New arrivals are almost certain sooner or later to suffer from fever. 
The natives are also subject to it. The number of deaths among the 
whites in the year 1897 amounted to 9 among a population of 50." 

Some of these deaths, however, were accidental. 

Nakata was the first to come down with fever. 
This occurred at Penduffryn. Wada and Henry fol- 
lowed him. Charmian surrendered next. I managed 
to escape for a couple of months ; but when I was 
bowled over, Martin sympathetically joined me several 
days later. Out of the seven of us all told Tehei is 
the only one who has escaped ; but his sufferings from 
nostalgia are worse than fever. Nakata, as usual, 
followed instructions faithfully, so that by the end of 
his third attack he could take a two hours' sweat, con- 
sume thirty or forty grains of quinine, and be weak 
but all right at the end of twenty-four hours. 

Wada and Henry, however, were tougher patients 
with which to deal. In the first place, Wada got in a 

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bad funk. He was of the firm conviction that his star 
had set and that the Solomons would receive his bones. 
He saw that life about him was cheap. At PendufFryn 
he saw the ravages of dysentery, and, unfortunately for 
him, he saw one victim carried out on a strip of galvan- 
ized sheet-iron and dumped without coffin or funeral 
into a hole in the ground. Everybody had fever, 
everybody had dysentery, everybody had everything. 
Death was common. Here to-day and gone to-mor- 
row — and Wada forgot all about to-day and made up 
his mind that to-morrow had come. 

He was careless of his ulcers, neglected to sublimate 
them, and by uncontrolled scratching spread them all 
over his body. Nor would he follow instructions with 
fever, and, as a result, would be down five days at a 
time, when a day would have been sufficient. Henry, 
who is a strapping giant of a man, was just as bad. 
He refused point blank to take quinine, on the ground 
that years before he had had fever and that the pills 
the doctor gave him were of different size and color 
from the quinine tablets I offered him. So Henry 
joined Wada. 

But I fooled the pair of them, and dosed them with 
their own medicine, which was faith-cure. They had 
faith in their funk that they were going to die. I 
slammed a lot of quinine down their throats and took 
their temperature. It was the first time I had used 
my medicine-chest thermometer, and I quickly dis- 
covered that it was worthless, that it had been produced 
for profit and not for service. If I had let on to my 
two patients that the thermometer did not work, there 
would have been two funerals in short order. Their 
temperature I swear was 105°. I solemnly made one 

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and then the other smoke the thermometer, allowed an 
expression of satisfaction to irradiate my countenance, 
and joyfully told them that their temperature was 94°. 
Then I slammed more quinine down their throats, told 
them that any sickness or weakness they might ex- 
perience would be due to the quinine, and left them to 
get well. And they did get well, Wada in spite of 
himself. If a man can die through a misapprehension, 
is there any immorality in making him live through a 
misapprehension ? 

Commend me the white race when it comes to grit 
and surviving. One of our two Japanese and both our 
Tahitians funked and had to be slapped on the back and 
cheered up and dragged along by main strength toward 
life. Charmian and Martin took their afflictions cheer- 
fully, made the least of them, and moved with calm 
certitude along the way of life. When Wada and 
Henry were convinced that they were going to die, the 
funeral atmosphere was too much for Tehei, who 
prayed dolorously and cried for hours at a time. 
Martin, on the other hand, cursed and got well, and 
Charmian groaned and made plans for what she was 
going to do when she got well again. 

Charmian had been raised a vegetarian and a sani- 
tarian. Her Aunt Netta, who brought her up and 
who lived in a healthful climate, did not believe in 
drugs. Neither did Charmian. Besides, drugs dis- 
agreed with her. Their effects were worse than the ills 
they were supposed to alleviate. But she listened to 
the argument in favor of quinine, accepted it as the 
lesser evil, and in consequence had shorter, less painful, 
and less frequent attacks of fever. We encountered a 
Mr. Caulfeild, a missionary, whose two predecessors 

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had died after less than six months' residence in the 
Solomons. Like them he had been a firm believer in 
homeopathy, until after his first fever, whereupon, 
unlike them, he made a grand slide back to allopathy 
and quinine, catching fever and carrying on his Gospel 

But poor Wada ! The straw that broke the cook's 
back was when Charmian and I took him along on a 
cruise to the cannibal island of Malaita, in a small 
yacht, on the deck of which the captain had been 
murdered half a year before. Kai-kai means to eat, 
and Wada was sure he was going to be kai-kai'd. 
We went about heavily armed, our vigilance was un- 
remitting, and when we went for a bath in the mouth 
of a fresh-water stream, black boys, armed with rifles, 
did sentry duty about us. We encountered English 
war vessels burning and shelling villages in punish- 
ment for murders. Natives with prices on their heads 
sought shelter on board of us. Murder stalked abroad 
in the land. In out-of-the-way places we received 
wa,rnings from friendly savages of impending attacks. 
Our vessel owed two heads to Malaita, which were 
liable to be collected any time. Then to cap it all, 
we were wrecked on a reef, and with rifles in one hand 
warned the canoes of wreckers off while with the 
other hand we toiled to save the ship. All of which 
was too much for Wada, who went daffy, and who finally 
guit the Snark on the island of Ysabel, going ashore 
for good in a driving rain-storm, between two attacks 
of fever, while threatened with pneumonia. If he 
escapes being kai-kai'd^ and if he can survive sores and 
fever which are riotous ashore, he can expect, if he is 
reasonably lucky, to get away from that place to the 

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adjacent island in anywhere from six to eight weeks. 
He never did think much of my medicine, despite the 
fact that I successfully and at the first trial pulled two 
aching teeth for him. 

The Snark has been a hospital for months, and I 
confess that we are getting used to it. At Meringe 
Lagoon, where we careened and cleaned the Snark' s 
copper, there were times when only one man of us was 
able to go into the water, while the three white men on 
the plantation ashore were all down with fever. At 
the moment of writing this we are lost at sea somewhere 
northeast of Ysabel and trying vainly to find Lord 
Howe island, which is an atoll that cannot be sighted 
unless one is on top of it. The chronometer has gone 
wrong. The sun does not shine anyway, nor can I get 
a star observation at night, and we have had nothing 
but squalls and rain for days and days. The cook is 
gone. Nakata, who has been trying to be both cook 
and cabin boy, is down on his back with fever. Martin 
is just up from fever, and going down again. Charmian, 
whose fever has become periodical, is looking up in 
her date book to find when the next attack will be. 
Henry has begun to eat quinine in an expectant mood. 
And, since my attacks hit me with the suddenness of 
bludgeon-blows, I do not know from moment to moment 
when I shall be brought down. By a mistake we gave 
our last flour away to some white men who did not 
have any flour. We don't know when we'll make 
land. Our Solomon sores are worse than ever, and 
more numerous. The corrosive sublimate was accident- 
ally left ashore at PenduflTryn ; the peroxide of hydrogen 
is exhausted ; and I am experimenting with boracic 
acid, lysol, and antiphlogystine. At any rate, if I fail 

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in becoming a reputable M.D., it won't be from lack 
of practice. 

P.S. It is now two weeks since the foregoing was 
written, and Tehei, the only immune on board, has 
been down ten days with far severer fever than any of 
us and is still down. His temperature has been re- 
peatedly as high as 104, and his pulse 115. 

P.S. At sea, between Tas- 
man atoll and Manning Straits. 
Tehei's attack developed 
into black water fever — the 
severest form of malarial fever, 
which, the doctor-book assures 
me, is due to some outside in- 
fection as well. Having pulled 
him through his fever, I am 
now at my wit's end, for he 
has lost his wits altogether. I 
am rather recent in practice to 
take up the cure of insanity. 
This makes the second lunacy 
case on this short voyage. 

P.S. Some day I shall 
write a book (for the profes- 
sion), and entitle it, "Around 
the World on the Hospital 
Ship Snark.'* Even our pets have not escaped. We 
sailed from Meringe Lagoon with two, an Irish terrier 
and a white cockatoo. The terrier fell down the cabin 
companionway and lamed its nigh hind leg, then re- 
peated the manoeuvre and lamed its ofFfore leg. At the 
present moment it has but two legs to walk on. Fortu- 
nately, they are on opposite sides and ends, so that she 

Laundry Bills are not among 
his Vexations. His Garb, 
however, is a Concession to 
Civilization. — Lord Howe 

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can still dot and carry two. The cockatoo was crushed 
under the cabin skylight and had to be killed. This 
was our first funeral — though for that matter, the 
several chickens we had, and which would have made 
welcome broth for the convalescents, flew overboard 
and were drowned. Only the cockroaches flourish. 
Neither illness nor accident ever befalls them, and they 
grow larger and more carnivorous day by day, gnawing 
our finger-nails and toe-nails while we sleep. 

P.S. Charmian is having another bout with fever. 
Martin, in despair, has taken to horse-doctoring his 
yaws with bluestone and to blessing the Solomons. 
As for me, in addition to navigating, doctoring, and 
writing short stories, I am far from well. With the 
exceptionof the insanity cases, Tm the worst ofFon board. 
I shall catch the next steamer to Australia and go on the 
operating table. Among my minor afflictions, I may 
mention a new and mysterious one. For the past week 
my hands have been swelling as with dropsy. It is only 
by a painful eflFort that I can close them. A pull on 
a rope is excruciating. The sensations are like those 
that accompany severe chilblains. Also, the skin is 
peeling oflF both hands at an alarming rate, besides 
which the new skin underneath is growing hard and 
thick. The doctor-book fails to mention this disease. 
Nobody knows what it is. 

P.S. Well, anyway, I've cured the chronometer. 
After knocking about the sea for eight squally, rainy 
days, most of the time hove to, I succeeded in catching 
a partial observation of the sun at midday. From this 
I worked up my latitude, then headed by log to the 
latitude of Lord Howe, and ran both that latitude and the 
island down together. Here I tested the chronometer 

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by longitude sights and found it something like three 
minutes out. Since each minute is equivalent to fifteen 
miles, the total error can be appreciated. By repeated 
observations at Lord Howe I rated the chronometer. 

The Trader's House at Lua Nua, Lord Howe Atoll. 

finding it to have a daily losing error of seven-tenths 
of a second. Now it happens that a year ago, when we 
sailed from Hawaii, that selfsame chronometer had 
that selfsame losing error of seven-tenths of a second. 
Since that error was faithfully added every day, and 

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since that error, as proved by my observations at Lord 
Howe, has not changed, then what under the sun made 
that chronometer all of a sudden accelerate and catch 
up with itself three minutes ? Can such things be ? 
Expert watchmakers say no ; but I say that they have 
never done any expert watchmaking and watch-rating in 
the Solomons. That it is the climate is my only diagno- 
sis. At any rate, I have successfully doctored the chro- 
nometer, even if I have failed with the lunacy cases 
and with Martin's yaws. 

P.S. Martin has just tried burnt alum, and is bless- 
ing the Solomons more fervently than ever. 

P.S. Between Manning Straits and Pavuvu Islands. 

Henry has developed rheumatism in his back, ten 
skins have peeled off my hands and the eleventh is now 
peeling, while Tehei is more lunatic than ever and day 
and night prays God not to kill him. Also, Nakata 
and I are slashing away at fever again. And finally up 
to date, Nakata last evening had an attack of ptomaine 
poisoning, and we spent half the night pulling him 

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The Snark was forty-three feet on the water-line 
and fifty-five over all, with fifteen feet beam (tumble- 
home sides) and seven feet eight inches draft. She was 
ketch-rigged, carrying flying-jib, jib, fore-staysail, main- 
sail, mizzen, and spmnaker. There were six feet of 
head-room below, and she was crown-decked and flush- 
decked. There were four alleged water-tight compart- 
ments. A seventy-horse power auxiliary gas-engine 
sporadically furnished locomotion at an approximate cost 
of twenty dollars per mile. A five-horse power engine 
ran the pumps when it was in order, and on two occasions 
proved capable of furnishing juice for the search-light. 
The storage batteries worked four or five times in the 
course of two years. The fourteen-foot launch was 
rumored to work at times, but it invariably broke down 
whenever I stepped on board. 

But the Snark sailed. It was the only way she could 
get anywhere. She sailed for two years, and never 
touched rock, reef, nor shoal. She had no inside ballast, 
her iron keel weighed five tons, but her deep draft and 
high freeboard made her very stiflf. Caught under full 
sail in tropic squalls, she buried her rail and deck many 
times, butstubbornly refused to turn turtle. She steered 
easily, and she could run day and night, without steer- 
ing, close-by, full-and-by, and with the wind abeam. 
With the wind on her quarter and the sails properly 


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trimmed, she steered herself within two points, and 
with the wind almost astern she required scarcely three 
points for self-steering. 

The Snark was partly built in San Francisco. The 
morning her iron keel was to be cast was the morning 
of the great earthquake. Then came anarchy. Six 
months overdue in the building, I sailed the shell of her 
to Hawaii to be finished, the engine lashed to the bottom, 
building materials lashed on deck. Had I remained in 
San Francisco for completion, I'd still be there. As it""\ 
was, partly built, she cost four times what she ought to \ 
have cost. ' ' 

The Snark was born unfortunately. She was libelled 
in San Francisco, had her checks protested as fraudulent 
in Hawaii, and was fined for breach of quarantine in the 
Solomons. To save themselves, the newspapers could 
not tell the truth about her. When I discharged an in- 
competent captain, they said I had beaten him to a pulp. 
When one young man returned home to continue at 
college, it was reported that I was a regular Wolf Larsen, 
and that my whole crew had deserted because I had 
beaten it to a pulp. In fact the only blow struck on the 
Snark was when the cook was manhandled by a captain 
who had shipped with me under false pretences, and whom 
I discharged in Fiji. Also, Charmian and I boxed for 
exercise; but neither of us was seriously maimed. 

The voyage was our idea of a good time. I built 
the Snark and paid for it, and for all expenses. I con- 
tracted to write thirty-five thousand words descriptive 
of the trip for a magazine which was to pay me the same 
rate I received for stories written at home. Promptly 
the magazine advertised that it was sending me espe- 
cially around the world for itself. It was a wealthy 

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magazine. And every man who had business dealings 
with the Snark charged three prices because forsooth 
the magazine could afford it. Down in the uttermost 
South Sea isle this myth obtained, and I paid accord- 
ingly. To this day everybody believes that the maga- 
zine paid for everything and that I made a fortune out 
of the voyage. It is hard, after such advertising, to 
hammer it into the human understanding that the. whole 
voyage was done for the fun of it. 

I went to Australia to go into hospital, where I spent 
five weeks. I spent five months miserably sick in 
hotels. The mysterious malady that afflicted my hands 
was too much for the Australian specialists. It was 
unknown in the literature of medicine. No case like 
it had ever been reported. It extended from my hands 
to my feet so that at times I was as helpless as a child. 
On occasion my hands were twice their natural size, 
with seven dead and dying skins peeling oflF at the same 
time. There were times when my toe-nails, in twenty- 
four hours, grew as thick as they were long. After 
filing them off, inside another twenty-four hours they 
were as thick as before. 

The Australian specialists agreed that the malady 
was non-parasitic, and that, therefore, it must be 
nervous. It did not mend, and it was impossible for 
me to continue the voyage. The only way I could 
have continued it would have been by being lashed in 
my bunk, for in my helpless condition, unable to clutch 
with my hands, I could not have moved about on a 
small rolling boat. Also, I said to myself that while 
there were many boats and many voyages, I had but 
one pair of hands and one set of toe-nails. Still further, 
I reasoned that in my own climate of California I had 

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always maintained a stable nervous equilibrium. So 
back I came. 

Since my return I have completely recovered. And 
I have found out what was the matter with me. I en- 
countered a book by Lieutenant Colonel Charles E. 
Woodruff of the United States Army entitled " Effects 
of Tropical Light on White Men." Then I knew. 
Later, I met Colonel Woodruff, and learned that he 
had been similarly afflicted. Himself an Army surgeon, 
seventeen Army surgeons sat on his case in the Philip- 
pines, and, like the Australian specialists, confessed 
themselves beaten. In brief, I had a strong predis- 
position toward the tissue-destructiveness of tropical 
light. I was being torn to pieces by the ultra-violet 
rays just as many experimenters with the X-ray have 
been torn to pieces. 

In passing, I may mention that among the other 
afflictions that jointly compelled the abandonment of 
the voyage, was one that is variously called the healthy 
man's disease^ European Leprosy^ and Biblical Leprosy, 
Unlike True Leprosy^ nothing is known of this mys- 
terious malady. No doctor has ever claimed a cure 
for a case of it, though spontaneous cures are recorded. 
It comes, they know not how. It is, they know not 
what. It goes, they know not why. Without the use 
of drugs, merely by living in the wholesome California 
climate, my silvery skin vanished. The only hope the 
doctors had held out to me was a spontaneous cure, 
and such a cure was mine. 

A last word : the test of the voyage. It is easy 
enough for me or any man to say that it was enjoyable. 
But there is a better witness, the one woman who made 
it from beginning to end. In hospital when I broke 

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the news to Charmian that I must go back to Cali- 
fornia, the tears welled into her eyes. For two days 
she was wrecked and broken by the knowledge that the 
happy, happy voyage was abandoned. 

Glen Ellen, California, 
April 7, 19 II. 

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npHE following pages contain advertisements 
of a few of the Macmillan novels. 

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Mr. jack LONDON'S NOVELS, Etc. 

Eachf in decorated cloth bindings $l-50 


A strong, fascinating novel of the white man's mastery in the South 

Burning* Daylight ciotK i^^ 

** By all odds the most interesting, as well as the most wholesome^ 
long story Mr. London has written." — Nation. 

The Call of the Wild illustrated in colors 

** A big story in sober English, and with thorough art in the con- 
struction; a wonderfully perfect bit of work; a book that will be 
heard of long. The dog's adventures are a> exciting as any man*s 
exploits could be, and Mr. London's workmanship is wholly satisfy- 
ing."— TAe New York Sun. 

The ■ Sea-Wolf illustrated in colors 

"Jack London's *The Sea-Wolf is marvellously truthful Read- 
ing it through at a sitting, we have found it poignantly interesting ; 
... a superb piece of craftsmanship," — The New York Tribune. 

White Fang illustrated in colors 

"A thrilling story of adventure • . . stining indeed . , . and it 
touches a choul of tenderness th' t is all too rare in Mr. London's 
work." — Record-lJerald^ Chicago 

Before Adam illustrated in colors 

"The story moves with a wonderful sequence of interesting and 
whol'v credible events. . . . PVom an artistic standpoint the l)ook i» 
an undoubted success. And it is no less a success from the stand- 
ppint of the reader who seeks to he entertained." — TAe Plain Dealer, 

Martin Eden cicth.izmo 

"The elemental strength, the vigor and determination, of Martin 
Eden make him the must interesting character that Mr. London has 
ever created. — Chicago Inter- Ocean. 



64-66 Fifth Avenue, New Tork 

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Jack London's Short Stories 

Eachj clothe illuUraUd^ i2mo^ %t^S^ 


A Transcript from Real life 

** It is told with such a glow of imaginative illusion, with such 
intense dramatic vigor, with such eSective audacity of phrase, 
that it almost seems as if the author's appeal was to the bodily 
eye as much as to the inner mentality, and that the events are 
actually happening before the reader." — The New York 


''Told with something of that same vigorous and honest 
manliness and indifference with which Mr. Kipling makes 
unbegging yet direct and unfailing appeal to the sympathy of 
his reader." — Kichmotid Despatch, 


" Mr. London's art as a story-teller nowhere manifests itself 
more strongly than in the swift, dramatic close of his stories. 
There is no hesitancy or uncertainty of touch. From the 
start the story moves straight to the inevitable conclusion." 

— Courier Journal, 


•* Each of the stories is unique in its individual way, weird and 
uncanny, and told in Mr. London's vigorous, compelling style." 

— Interior, 


"That they are vividly told, hardly need be said, for Jack 
London is a realist as well as a writer of thrilling romances." 

— Cleveland Plain Dealer, 


** Jack London is at his best with the short story . . . clear- 
cut, sharp, incisive, with the tang of the frost in ii,*^ -^ Mecord- 
Herald, Chicago, 



M-66 Fifth Arenue. Sew Tork 

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Jack London*s Social Studies 

REVOLUTION Cloth, i2mo, $ nei 

"Here is a field wherein London is entirely at home, and the 
narrative radiates with picturesque description and vivid char- 
acterization.** — Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 

THE WAR OF THE CLASSES Cloth, i2mo, $1,50 net 

** Mr. London's book is thoroughly interesting, and Mr. London's 
point of view is, as may be surmised, very different from that of 
the closet theorist," — Springfield Republican, 

PEOPLE OF THE ABYSS IlUistrated, cloth, $1.50 net 

"This life has been pictured many times before — complacently 
and soothingly by Professor Walter A. Wyckoff, luridly by Mr, 
Stead, scientifically by Mr. Charles Booth. But Mr. London 
alone has made it real and present to us." — The Independent. 

THE ROAD Illustrated, cloth, i2mo, $2.00 net 

As a literal record of life among tramps, of travel from end to 
end of the country, its significance is great. 

By Jack London and Anna Strunsky 

Cloth, i2fno, $i.s<y 
*• They are not exactly love letters, but letters about the nature 
of love, and what part romantic love plays, and what part it 
ought to play in our modern Mie**^^ Portland Advertiser, 


A Novel Cloth, iztno, $1.30 

"Power is certainly the keynote of this book. Every word 
tingles with it. It is a great book, one that deserves to be read 
and pondered. ... It contains a mighty lesson and a most 
impressive warning." — Indianapolis News, 



64-66 Tiftli Ay«nue, New Tork 

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Cloth, extra, gilt tops, each, $1.50 

A Life for a Life 

*It is fairly safe to prophesv that It will in time take its place among th* 
books that have influenced national thought and sentiment.'* — Living A^ 


" An able book, remarkably so, and one which should find a place in the 
library of any woman who is not a fool." — Editorial in The New York 

The Gospel of Freedom 

"A novel that may be truly called the greatest study of social life, in a 
broad and very much up-to-date sense, that has ever been contributed tc 
American fiction." — Chicago Inter- Ocean. 

The Web of Life 

" It is strong in that it faithfully depicts many phases of American life, 
and uses them to strengthen a web of liction, v^hich is most artistically 
wrought out." — Buffalo Express. 

Jock o' Dreams; or, The Real World 

"The title of the book has a subtle intention. It indicates, and is true 
to the verities in doing so, the strange dreamlike quality of life to the 
man who has not yet fought his own battles, or come into conscious pos- 
session of his will — only such batt'es bite into the consciousness." — 
Chicago Tribune, 

The Q)mmon Lot 

"It grips the reader tremendously. ... It is the drama of a human 
soul the reader watches . . . the finest study of human motive that has 
appeared for many a day." — J he IVorld 'Jo-day, 

The Memoirs of an American Qtizen 

Illustrated with about fifty drawings by F. B» Masters 

"Intensely absorbing as a story, it is also a crisp,' vigorous document of 
startling significance. More than any other writer to-day he is giving us 
X^ American novel." — New York Globe, 


Pabliahen 64-66 Fifth Avenue Kew Tork 

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the borrower from overdue fines. 

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Cambridge, MA 02138 617-495-2413 

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